Baltimore’s Criminal Justice System Is Corrupt, I Know Because I Was Imprisoned there

Jason Fyk | Author, Mags to Riches

In 2011, I was arrested by Baltimore City Police on charges of conspiracy to commit first degree attempted murder.

You might be asking yourself, “Why? What did he do?” I took a cell phone video of a small drunken scuffle in a downtown Baltimore parking garage. I was not a participant in the fight, nor was I an instigator. Despite what the facts of the situation presented, a personal family relationship with one of the so-called “victims” took precedence over the law. What started as a typical two-sided misdemeanor became a one-sided fight for freedom. I spent 50 days in the Baltimore City Detention Center facing two life sentences, and a host of other charges mounting to well over 200 years in prison, all for simply taking a video.

I’ve seen the corruption firsthand. I’ve seen how a law enforcement agent’s personal agenda can destroy a life. I’ve seen how charges are ramped up in order to make a lesser charge stick. I’ve seen detainees entering jail with worse injuries than the participants in the fight I captured on video, all at the hands of police. I’ve also seen the corruption that resides in BCDC on my 50-day tour of the jail.

The conditions at this facility were sub-human, in some cases. Ignoring the mice, cockroaches and decaying conditions, basic necessities of life were severely lacking. The food was nearly inedible and, in some cases, hazardous. For example, the drink flavoring had a poisonous emblem on it, eggs were often brown and rotten when served, and during my stay we even lost water for four days, which meant toilets and sinks did not work. All we had was a cooler jug that was brought in to drink from. Showers were so hot (not adjustable) you could not stand in the water. I saw a detainee drop on the floor, having a seizure from withdrawal, because drugs are not administered for close to a week after arrival. My experience in jail was that of an educated observant, and what I saw was appalling. The list goes on and on.

Now I’m not here to vilify police or law enforcement in general. I believe there are guys on Baltimore’s force that are honest and true and I would be by their side if they needed me. However, I hope events of recent have helped open people’s eyes to those who are not as honest. My hope is that those in power take a long, hard look at this and begin policing themselves internally. Far too much is overlooked. Those officers who are violating laws should face stricter punishments, and those who have flawless records should find themselves commended more often.

I wrote down my experiences in Baltimore while in jail and mailed over 60 pages of memoirs home. After my charges were dropped, I was unable to sue the city civilly, so I began writing a book chronicling my personal experiences and the corruption I witnessed. My book, Mags to Riches, was written in an attempt to tell my story and hopefully regain my family’s financial losses that I was unable to recover in a civil suit. I began utilizing social media to grow an audience in order to gain readers for my book. I could not have known at the time, but soon after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the social media pursuit would become my financial savior. In the two years following my arrest, I went completely broke and subsequently became a self-made social media millionaire. I am currently working on a second book which will tell how I made millions on Facebook.

I’ve seen what a corrupt legal system can do first hand and want to share my story with others as a cautionary tale. If we overlook or ignore corruption within our own governing bodies, we risk situations like Baltimore expanding to other cities. We need to recognize the problems with law enforcement.

Corruption affects everyone, however, not everyone has the stamina to fight back or to endure what I endured. That is the reason I want to stand up and say, “Accept that there is a problem, Baltimore and FIX IT!”

Tags : baltimore prison reform
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