The estimated 100 people were reportedly held in jail for around 48 hours—double the accepted time period—before cops began releasing or charging them. NBC reports the process was apparently nudged along by a habeas corpus petition filed Wednesday morning by the Baltimore Public Defenders’ office.
The processing problems were also apparently self-inflicted—Baltimore City Paper writer Caitlin Goldblatt tweeted Wednesday night that, “Delays in recent releases allegedly partially due to vans dropping detainees off at booking without paperwork.” But, according to NBC, those released may still be charged:
The releases were the result of a logjam for police who were scrambling to pull the necessary paperwork to file charges at the same time they were trying to keep peace on the city’s streets, Kowalczyk said.
Batts, the police commissioner, told reporters Wednesday night: “We’ve come up on a timeline. We are releasing them with future prosecution in mind. ... We’re not giving up on them.
Among those released Wednesday evening was VICE freelancer Shawn Carrié, who was apparently arrested despite showing police his press pass.
About 15 minutes later, a police captain pointed me out while taking photos & said “He goes” – then they arrested me. #BaltimoreRiotsApril 30, 2015
I complied with all police orders, & they were very cordial. I showed my press pass, & officer asked his supervisor if he could release me…April 30, 2015
Captain insisted they take me in. The cop who arrested me said: “I don’t even know why they told to arrest this guy, he’s a reporter."April 30, 2015
I have so much more to say on the experience in jail, but all I’ll say for right now is that I was released with no charges… #BaltimoreRiotsApril 30, 2015
They were holding us even though the law requires you to be charged within 24 hours, or you have to be released. #BaltimoreRiotsApril 30, 2015
[image via AP]