BALTIMORE (AP)—The arrest of Baltimore Raven rookie Tony Fein at the Inner Harbor was the result of police profiling, the undrafted linebacker’s agent said Monday.
Fein was arrested and charged Sunday with assaulting a police officer who confronted him after a security officer thought he saw Fein pass a handgun to a friend at the counter of a HarborPlace restaurant, said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. It turned out to be a cell phone.
“Tony’s never owned a weapon in his life,” agent Milton Dee Hobbs said. “That weapon was a cell phone.”
When police questioned Fein, 27, he became belligerent and shoved the officer, Guglielmi said. Sgt. Joseph Donato was knocked to the ground and had an injured elbow, a police report said.
But Hobbs said it was the officer who was aggressive and that Fein didn’t shove him. He said police approached Fein because he was a black man wearing a sweat suit and hoodie.
“It looks awful for Tony and puts him in a bad position,” Hobbs said.
Baltimore police have stepped up security at the Inner Harbor, a major tourism draw for the city, after a shooting at the same building a weekend earlier
This is a very unfortunate incident on many fronts. Fein, one of the feel good stories of camp due to the fact that he’s a 27 year old rookie since he spent three years serving his country in Iraq and Afghanistan wasn’t necessarily a lock to make the team and this incident I’m sure doesn’t help things.
I’m sure there will be yet another investigation into Baltimore City police practices. As many people know the Inner Harbor has been plagued with gang related issues recently with last Saturday’s shooting still fresh in people’s minds. If anyone has been down in that area in the past month you can definitely see an increased police presence.
Most information that’s been made about Tony Fein has been positive about his military record and his overall attitude. So I’m actually more interested to hear any statement made from the three other players that were since their names have not yet been release to give some perspective on this incident.
The police have the most difficult job imaginable dealing with society’s worst people at times but if this situation turns out to be another example of racial profiling it certainly won’t help the already dubious reputation that the city’s force has built over the years.