Baltimore Residents Urge The Police Commissioner To Use The Padlock Law To Close A Gas Station Near Morgan State University

Exterior of the BP gas station near Morgan State University. Screenshot via @smallrocks66 on Twitter.

What’s happening?

Residents in Northeast Baltimore are urging Baltimore City Police to shutdown a gas station near Morgan State University following the fatal shooting of 56-year-old Albert Stevenson on Sunday, Cristina Mendez reports for CBS Baltimore. Stevenson’s family, other members of the community, and City Councilman Ryan Dorsey are asking police commissioner Michael Harrison to invoke the “Padlock Law,” which allows the commissioner to order the closure of a business considered to be a nuisance. 

How does the Padlock Law apply in this scenario? 

Baltimore police officers have been called to the BP gas station on Havenwood Road about 80 times over the past 9 days, according to records obtained by WJZ. In order to enforce the law, the commissioner must determine whether the business is a pervasive problem in the community.

“That criteria has clearly been met. The police commissioner, and only the police commissioner, makes a decision about whether or not he in his sole discretion wants to shut this business down,” Dorsey said.

If the commissioner pursues the closure of the gas station, the next steps would include sending a certified letter to the property owner and issuing a notice on the property. 

Anything else I should know?

In response to the residents’ request, police department spokeswoman, Chakia Fennoy, said that the gas station was “a focus area for deployments and proactive enforcement.” She also added that “the investigation into this incident [is] ongoing and we will be looking at all avenues in addressing violent crime.”

You can read more here.

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