The Brew published an essay last week responding to events in Ferguson written by Rev. Dr. Heber Brown III that opened with a dramatic anecdote.
Brown’s neighbor, who also happens to be a pastor, was awakened at 2 a.m. by police responding to a 911 call that they eventually realized was a mistake, Brown wrote. They were responding to the wrong address.
But the neighbor had at first been told by officers using profanity to get down on the ground, where he was then roughly handcuffed, Brown wrote, describing the incident as told to him by the neighbor. The officers, after realizing the mistake and releasing him, never apologized for their actions.
We asked the Baltimore Police Department for a response and, after the story’s publication, Lt. Eric Kowalczyk, BPD spokesman, confirmed the basic details.
Kowalczyk said officers, who were responding to a July 1st 911 call reporting a violent crime in progress, did go at about 2 a.m. to that location, which they later found to be the wrong address.
“The gentleman was handcuffed during the course of the investigation,” Kowalczyk said.
Asked about the allegation of foul language and rough treatment, Kowalczyk said, “You have to remember the context, the 911 call.”
Asked why the officer didn’t apologize after the mistake, Kowalczyk said he could not provide further details of the encounter because it is the basis of a personnel matter.
“The correct reporting was done,” he said, referring to an “Involuntary Detention Report.”
As a result of a complaint made by the man who had been handcuffed, the department’s Community Investigation Unit completed an investigation, Kowalczyk said.
Kowalczyk said he could not, under personnel rules, disclose whether the officer was disciplined.
Brown said his neighbor gave permission for his story to be told in the essay, but did not want his name to be published.