Following the law, acting with courage and ethics and doing the right thing. That’s what Baltimore Detective Joe Crystal did. He did not stand idly by while bad cops assaulted an American citizen. This young man sacrificed his career because he believed that a bad cop is simply a criminal with bad fashion sense.
On October 27, 2011, Mr. Crystal says that he unwittingly stood guard while Sgt. Mariano Gialamas and Officer Anthony Williams beat Antoine Green. Antoine Green was suspected of dealing drugs and had allegedly been seen tossing them away during a footchase. That footchase, unfortunately for Mr. Green, ended at the home of Officer Williams’ girlfriend. Mr. Green, thinking the home was vacant like most of the other homes on the block, kicked in the door of the home that belonged to Officer Williams’ girlfriend. He was captured and cuffed in the home, loaded into a police wagon and taken off to jail.
Sgt. Gialamas and Officer WIlliams had a conversation after Officer Williams arrived on the scene and Sgt. Gialamas called the wagon to bring Green back to the house. Green knew what was going to happen.
“They gonna fuck me up”
And they did. Crystal heard the beating that left Mr. Green with torn clothes and a broken ankle. Crystal says that he was in shock but the following day, he reported the incident to Sgt. Robert Amador who told him to keep a lid on it and not to tell internal affairs.
Up goes the Blue Wall
or, as it is known in the rest of the world, the criminal conspiracy. Crystal read the police report which, as happens so often, detailed how the handcuffed and frightened suspect brought the beating on himself when he “attempted to charge and head-butt off-duty officer Williams”.
Crystal then went to brunch with Assistant State’s Attorney Anna Mantegna and started to tell her the story
“If you continue to talk, I’m going to have to tell somebody”
And so began Joe Crystal’s descent from decorated Police Officer to Rat. Because he did the right thing. The only thing a man like him could have done. He was hounded and run out of the Baltimore Police Department by the criminals that infest our law enforcement community in this country.
And what does that do to the other good cops out there?
“I just watched a detective that I know go through an enormous amount of stress and eventual severance from the department for a complaint he made against fellow detectives. I really do not wish to experience even a fraction of what he went through. I truly don’t feel comfortable with going forward for my safety and continued career within BPD. I don’t want to cause any problems, I just want to continue to work without fear of harassment or retaliation.”
Those were the words written by an officer who had put in a complaint about the use of the word “nigger” by other officers. He wrote this because he wanted his complaint redacted after seeing what doing the write thing had done to Detective Crystal.
Cancer never cures itself
You have to kill it.
As a first step in rooting out the cancer of bad cops that has infected OUR law enforcement community, I strongly suggest they stop wearing camouflage.
Wear a blue uniform. And oxford shoes (no boots). And a bus driver hat. And a tie. Dress like a professional and not a storm trooper. Dress like Officer Friendly. You aren’t JCVD.
Go back to looking like someone who’s job is to Protect and Serve rather than someone who’s job is to Search and Destroy.
I think you’ll be surprised how many of the bad cops quit, retire, or don’t join in the first place once we stop allowing them to play dress up as soldiers. The good cops, those who are there to Protect and Serve, will stay and we’ll all be safer and better served by it.