Monday, August 28, 2006

Stealing from the Agitator

BALTIMORE - Baltimore City police have a new crime on the books: Stealing your own car.

Just ask Keith Spence, a Baltimore City resident who was arrested when he was driving home from work in a car he bought with a tax refund.

“I couldn’t believe it was happening,” Spence said.

Spence, 28, said city police pulled him over in his 1993 red Cadillac Elderado coupe for a cracked rear window in February. Four officers dragged Spence and his two passengers from the car and said they were under arrest for stealing it, he said.

“I was listening to the radio from the back seat of the police car. It said a gray Cadillac sedan was stolen; mine is a red coupe. I guess the officer must have been color blind,” he said.

“I tried to tell them it was my car, but they wouldn’t listen.”

Spence and his two friends were arrested, and the car was impounded. Charged with one count of motor vehicle theft, Spence represented himself in court in June.

“I owned the car — I knew it wasn’t stolen,” he said.

Even though Spence had the title proving he owned the car, he said he was cleared of the charges because of the testimony of the owner of the stolen car.

“The whole courtroom fell out — even the judge laughed,” Spence told The Examiner.

Still, police sold Spence’s car at auction two months before his day in court.

Now Spence is without the car it took him a year to buy, and his lawyer, Roland Brown, said he is preparing to sue the city.

“Not only did the police violate my client’s constitutional rights by selling his car before the trial, but the case demonstrates that young black males in this city are blindly targeted by the Baltimore City police,” he said.

Brown said the case also points out problems with the city’s management of stolen vehicles. “You have to question why a stolen car would be sold at all,” he said.

Police spokesman Matt Jablow said police are investigating the incident.

“We’re looking into the circumstances surrounding why the car was sold,” Jablow said.

Spence said he only wants the Cadillac he worked so hard to buy.

“I loved that car.”

Kid Handsome

Link via the Agitator


Blogger The Management said...

Fuck Cops

9:31 AM  
Blogger Spider Girl said...

Oh, my blood would be boiling if that happened to me...

11:39 AM  
Blogger Chowda said...

Wow. That story is just unreal. Sue baby sue.

9:38 PM  

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