Baltimore Police Sgt. K Glanville Has A Perfect, Impassioned Message About Officers & The Community — VIDEO
Since the death of Freddie Gray in mid-April, tensions between Baltimore residents and the Baltimore City Police Department have grown significantly. Mostly peaceful protests turned violent at one point, and police turned to tear gas and pepper balls. But most Baltimore officers only want to help the community. Baltimore Sgt. K. Glanville spoke to demonstrators Saturday night in an open, honest dialogue. In her speech, which was posted to YouTube, she said things like "I tell people, 'You need something, you call me,'" and reminded people that the community has to work together with officers to move forward.
Things in the city have quieted down since the six police officers involved in Gray's death were charged with various alleged crimes, including manslaughter and second-degree murder, according to CNN. Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts told CNN that the community distrusts police officers, and that now the department needs to acknowledge "we are part of the problem." He said he hopes to show the community that the department will change and become part of the solution for the city's racism problem.
These are all things that Glanville echoed in her speech. Glanville has never received a complaint in her 19 years of service with the department, according to the video. She treats the people she's speaking to like exactly who they are — people she cares about, respects, and wants to protect, people who are part of her hometown.
"My heart is in this," Glanville told demonstrators, according to the video. She tried to emphasize that the trust built between a police force and the community it protects is a two-way street — community members can't discriminate against police, and, in turn, police need to stop discriminating against certain parts of the community. She said an open dialogue is key: "I’m not wasting time on someone that’s not trying to let me in, when I got all these other people that got the door wide open, saying ‘Sgt. Glanville, please step in,'" she said.
Glanville said she will make an effort to be closer to the community, but that community members can't assume that all police are going to be "mean" to them. "I am here, I’m available. I give kids my phone number, I tell people, ‘You need something, you call me.’ It all starts with relationship building. There are so many dynamics to opening up."
Then, when someone in the crowd says "This is our city," and that officers don't often understand it, she replies perfectly: "This is my city too! That's what I'm saying to you," she said in the video. "You cannot think that all police are bad. You have to know that some of us are here. Some of us took this job to make sure that people like you, people like you [are safe] — come on." It's a perfect reminder that many police officers do what they do because they love where they grew up.
Then Glanville seems to correct the notion that police often assume that something illegal is going on all the time. That's obviously not true. Rather, Glanville refers to her own intuition and knowledge of people and the community — that's what she often relies on to fix its problems.
"You can't assume that I don't have men in my family and that I don't know when something is wrong. You understand what I'm saying? Something is wrong," she said. "So, every day I'm going to put on this uniform and do the best that I can to make sure that it's right. But I'm only one person, so I can only stand on my merits."
The crowd applauds when Glanville mentions that in 19 years she hasn't received one complaint from a community member. Given that truth, she said it's hard for her to be lumped into the same category as the officers who are bad apples.
"It hurts me to come out here — away from my kids, away from my family, and I'm here for you — for you to look me in my face and treat me like I'm somebody that's not getting up every day and fighting this fight with you," she told the crowd. "You have to believe that there are some of us that are really at the forefront."
Glanville continued to speak after the video ended, according to The Huffington Post, and demonstrators — some of them in tears — came up to her to hug her afterward. According to the Huffington Post, she told the crowd the city has to do better, and that they have to see each other for more than what's on the outside:
You have to see past my uniform. I’m somebody’s mother, I’m somebody’s daughter, I have parents, I’m human. You have to remember that I don’t just become a robot because I put this uniform on. ... We know better, and we have to start doing better. It doesn’t matter what color you are. People are watching to see the next move that Baltimore makes coming out of this. ... And the main thing we need to do is make sure these babies are OK.
Images: YouTube (6)