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Cop in the Hood

COP IN THE HOOD
My Year Policing Baltimore’s Eastern District

PETER MOSKOS

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS PRINCETON AND OXFORD

Copyright © 2008 by Princeton University Press Published by Princeton University Press, 41 William Street, Princeton, New Jersey 08540 In the United Kingdom: Princeton University Press, 6 Oxford Street, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1TW All Rights Reserved Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Moskos, Peter, 1971– Cop in the hood : my year policing Baltimore's eastern district / Peter Moskos. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-691-14008-7 1. Moskos, Peter, 1971– 2. Police—Maryland—Baltimore—Biography. I. Title. HV7911.M644A3 2008 363.2092—dc22 [B] 2007045211 Revised edition British Library Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available This book has been composed in Janson text Printed on acid-free paper. ∞ press.princeton.edu Printed in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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rystal Sheffield and I sat next to each other in the police academy. When the rest of the class would mope and whine, Crystal refused to take part in the petty games common among fifty people cooped up in the same room for too long. “I love everybody here,” she would say. She meant it, too. Always smiling (except when pointing out that I ate too much garlic), she was police for all the right reasons. Sheffield died on duty, August 22, 2002. My sympathies go to her entire family, especially her son and sister, both of whom inspired her deeply. This book is dedicated to her and the nine other Baltimore City Police Officers killed in the line of duty since my brief tenure: Officer Jamie Allen Roussey, March 8, 2000; Officer Kevon Malik Gavin, April 21, 2000; Officer Kevin Joseph McCarthy and Sergeant John David Platt, October 14, 2000; Agent Michael J. Cowdery, March 13, 2001; Officer Crystal Deneen Sheffield, August 22, 2002; Detective Thomas G. Newman, November 23, 2002; Officer Brian Donte Winder, July 3, 2004; Officer Anthony A. Byrd, May 19, 2006; Detective Troy Lamont Chesley, Sr., January 9, 2007. 10-7. May they rest in peace.

Contents

Acknowledg ments
CHAPTER 1 The Departed CHAPTER 2 Back to School: The Police Academy CHAPTER 3

ix

1

19

New Jack: Learning to Do Drugs
CHAPTER 4

38

The Corner: Life on the Streets
CHAPTER 5 911 Is a Joke CHAPTER 6 Under Arrest: Discretion in the Ghetto CHAPTER 7

64

89

111

Prohibition: Al Capone’s Revenge
EPILOGUE

158

School Daze Notes Bibliography Index

184 197 215 239

Acknowledgments

W

ithout the emotional and financial support of my parents, Ilca and Charles Moskos, I could not have begun nor finished my book. To the warm and welcoming people of Baltimore, thank you. You make Baltimore the wonderful city I love. I thank the Baltimore Police Department and Baltimore’s former mayor, Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, for letting me conduct this research. Orlando Patterson and Chris Winship steered me through the minefield of graduate school. Maurice Punch and John Van Maanen, in particular, sparked my interest in police. Their never-wavering enthusiasm kept me going through it all. I thank my sergeant, the police academy class of “99-5,” and my squadmates who backed me up. I wish everybody a speedy and successful retirement. I thank and remember Miss Mary Ballis for giving me a home in Baltimore, Miss Joyce for keeping Eager Street clean, and Mr. George Watson for hot coffee on cold mornings. I am indebted to Tim Sullivan’s editing vision and Zora O’Neill's good eye. I deeply appreciate the advice, support, and time given by Elijah Anderson, Howard Becker, Katch Belash, Gwendolyn Dordick, Amy Eckert, Robert Emerson, John Gavrilis, Gabriella Gonzalez, Maki Haberfeld, Peter Holla, James Jacobs, Delores Jones-Brown, Jack Katz, George Kelling, Carl Klockars, Rien Maas, Saskia Maas, Peter Manning,

x Acknowledgments

Peter Marudas, Laura Miller,...
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