Sheriff Shocked When Baltimore City Police Officers Tell Him They’re Ordered To Stand Down

Clashes in Baltimore over death of Freddie GrayWASHINGTON, USA - APRIL 27: Police retreat from the hulks of burned out cars in the middle of an intersection during riots in Baltimore, USA on April 27, 2015. Protests following the death of Freddie Gray from injuries suffered while in police custody have turned violent with people throwing debris at police and media and burning cars and businesses. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

When Maryland Sheriff and former Maryland State Police Sergeant Michael Lewis arrived in Baltimore to perform his duty helping the Baltimore City Police Department, he was shocked when told by officers that they were under orders to stand down.

Lewis, who made the two-hour trek to Baltimore because he felt it was his duty to help law enforcement stop Monday’s riots, told 105.7 The Fan that he was stunned when officers alerted him of the orders to stand down. He, Ed Norris and Steve Davis talked Thursday about the alleged controversial orders the police were given during the riots.

“I hadn’t planned to go to Baltimore at all. I watched the events unfold Saturday night like we all did, and was very concerned about what I saw, and the lack of response Saturday night,” he said. “I immediately rallied up the troops. We made sure our MRAP was prepared and ready. … We were assigned to protect Baltimore City Police headquarters, all of E. Fayette Street up to City Hall, to include City Hall. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity taking place at all. We could smell that putrid smell of burning tires and a city on fire as we came into the city. Had lots of concerns like everyone else. We maintained our post all night long until we were relieved.”

But what shocked him the most, he said, was when city police told him not to confront and accost the rioters.

“I was sick to my stomach like everybody else. … This was urban warfare, no question about it. They were coming in absolutely beaten down. The [city officers] got out of their vehicles, thanked us profusely for being there, apologized to us for having to be there. They said we could have handled this, we were very capable of handling this, but we were told to stand down, repeatedly told to stand down,” he said. “I had never heard that order come from anyone — we went right out to our posts as soon as we got there, so I never heard the mayor say that. But repeatedly these guys, and there were many high-ranking officials from the Baltimore City Police Department … and these guys told me they were essentially neutered from the start. They were spayed from the start. They were told to stand down, you will not take any action, let them destroy property. I couldn’t believe it, I’m a 31-year veteran of law enforcement. … I had never heard anything like this before in my life and these guys obviously aren’t gonna speak out and the more I thought about this, … I had to say a few things. I apologize if I’ve upset people, but I believe in saying it like it is.”

Lewis claims after the riots many officers told him they were done being cops in the city and how heartbroken they are that they were not allowed to defend their city and stop businesses from burning.

Source: CBS Baltimore

About the Author

Tim Black
Tim Black
Tim Black is a software developer, author, day trader and real estate investor. He's been known to do some rock climbing, backpacking, off-roading, shooting and keyboard playing. He spends much of his time in the Dallas TX area. In addition to NoozSaurus, Tim writes the occasional guest blog at and I have a wonderful wife and BFF of 38 years, two awesome kids, one awesome foster kid, two awesome sons-in-law and several dozen kids that call me Daddo. :) Yes, God has richly blessed me. If you want to know more about me, message me and we’ll do coffee. I like coffee. :)

6 Comments on "Sheriff Shocked When Baltimore City Police Officers Tell Him They’re Ordered To Stand Down"

  1. But why did they follow on illegal order? Weren’t they sworn to serve and protect? Isn’t destroying public property and inciting a riot illegal in Baltimore? Why did the cops not enforce the law? They can’t just hide behind “we were ordered to stand down”. Look up the Nurenberg trials!

  2. Avatar Marshall | May 2, 2015 at 1:07 pm |

    I guess the USELESS Mayor decided the Court Decision that said Law Enforcement has no Responsibility to Protect the Citizens to heart. In this case the Officers should have told her to kiss ass and protected the city. The Mayor should be responsible for every penny the business owners, and others, lost due to the Looting, Car Thefts, Burning and etc. She should be Sued and Kicked out of office!


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