Michael Wood

Sgt. Michael A. Wood Jr.

On Wednesday morning, former Baltimore police Sgt. Michael A. Wood Jr. woke up to find his phone full of thousands of new Twitter notifications.

A few days earlier, the 35-year-old Marine corps veteran had begun tweeting about his 11 years in the Baltimore Police Department — and all the things he had seen that he now felt needed to be shared.

Wood was in the police force in Baltimore from 2003 to 2014 and retired due to a shoulder injury, the Baltimore Police Department human resources department told BuzzFeed News. While on the force he earned a number of honors and awards, and his LinkedIn boasts four glowing, watermarked recommendations from lieutenants and captains on the force.

"I had this idea of a 'Good Cop,'" Wood said, "that was a kind of Robocop. Someone without human bias. I tried to separate my emotions from the job, I formed a wall between myself and the suspects. I thought that was how you enforce a law equally."

Since then, he told BuzzFeed News, he has realized that the only way to serve the law fairly is to use as much empathy as possible in the job. To be able to see civilians and suspects as human.

"A hero isn't a cop who instantly fires off his gun, a hero isn't the cop who shot Tamir Rice," Wood said, referring to the 12-year-old in Cleveland who was shot in 2014 by an officer who thought his toy gun was real. "A hero is the guy who hesitates before shooting, the guy that takes the risk of being shot himself for the sake of not killing an innocent person."

From the beginning of his training, Wood said he encountered an "us and them" mentality — "them" being primarily young, black men in the impoverished areas he was patrolling.

As a trainee, Wood was placed in Gilmor Homes, the public housing development in West Baltimore where years later Freddie Gray died due to injuries related to his arrest. Wood mostly made drug-related arrests in that neighborhood he said, keeping his eye out for black men ages 16 to 24.

"I saw all young black males as potential criminals. In my mind, and in the mind of my fellow officers, they were the ones who committed the crimes," he told BuzzFeed News.

"A hero is the guy who hesitates before shooting, the guy that takes the risk of being shot himself for the sake of not killing an innocent person."
"When you're a trainee they know you're faking being a cop," Wood said of the residents in the notoriously impoverished neighborhood. "We did drug arrests and everything, some of the officers were very aggressive. But we had no idea what we were doing, and they knew it."

Wood speculated that being a trainee in a rough neighborhood often produces particularly aggressive officers. This helps cause a divide between officers and civilians from the beginning, he said.

After he was a trainee, Wood served his first few years in a neighborhood called Pig-town. "It was there that I saw the detective slap that woman, and where I saw officers kicking handcuffed suspects on the ground," he said. He was then transferred to an upper middle class, majority white neighborhood, to be closer to his daughter's school district in Pennsylvania.

"I'm not realizing how messed up this was until right now," Wood told BuzzFeed News, "but I used to go to other officer's posts, to black neighborhoods, just to make arrests so I could meet my stats," he said, referring to the amount of arrests he was expected to perform each week.

"They knew that judges and court officials lived in that neighborhood. If I locked up the judge's 18-year-old son for drugs or whatever, things could get really bad for me."

 "I used to go to other officer's posts, to black neighborhoods, just to make arrests so I could meet my stats." 
It wasn't until Wood got transferred to "the knockers," otherwise known as the Violent Crime Impact Division — his first time in plainclothes, doing raids and writing search warrants — that he really began seeing "the dirty shit," as he called it.
"It started before my time with this unit that would piss and shit on the beds and clothes of the people whose houses they raided," Wood said. "They did it as a calling card like, 'Ha ha this is what we do.' Then other people years later would do it to be like 'Ha Ha' back at the other cops."

It had nothing to do with the people whose homes they were defecating in, Wood alleged, it was an in-joke among police officers. "The first time I saw it I was like, 'Won't they get caught?' But someone told me they blamed it on K9 dogs they brought."

Wood said he didn't even think of its effect on the civilians. "I just thought of it as an asshole thing to do, but I didn't put myself in the victims' shoes," he said. "The mind separates that all for some reason." 

It wasn't until Wood was transferred into covert surveillance, he said, that he really began to "soften up."

"I would stay in a vacant building all day. I would smell people's cooking, hear them talk about their problems." It was during these hours that Wood said he began to see the people he had been surrounded by for years through a lens other than that of a cop.

"Sometimes I would see a drug dealer put something away quickly and run to a car. I'd think something was going on, but then he would pull his kid out of the car and take him home." He said it was then he realized that he had only seen the people in these communities at their worst — while they were being arrested or calling 911 — and that it had been preventing him from seeing them as truly human.

When Wood became a sergeant, he said he would often have his officers put on plainclothes and walk through the neighborhoods, chat with the residents about anything that wasn't crime related. "When you take a walk through in plainclothes and you see an old woman asleep on her steps, you see her and get to talk to her, when you drive by in a squad car you don't even notice her because she's not a problem."

Wood described himself as turning into a "progressive, humanitarian, ultra-liberal guy."

He began to notice other officers who targeted young black males for arrests were not aware of what he called the "cyclical nature of crime" — that the reason black people were convicted of more crimes was because they were arrested more often, not necessarily because they committed more crimes. "White people carry drugs on them much more than black people do, precisely because they don't think they'll be arrested for it. It's ridiculous," he said.

He began calling out officers who only pulled over "cute girls," or old ladies with their children because they were scared. He started telling his officers that locking up white people in Baltimore's Eastern District would get them "triple the points," while he himself began targeting white people more than black people "as a baby step toward the way things should actually be."

Wood said his popularity in the force started waning. Then, officers he would normally associate with started talking behind his back, and they still are to this day, he said. "My friends in the department whittled down to a very small list," he said, "but those are the ones who listen. Those are the ones who understand everything I'm doing and saying now."

Jeremy Silbert, a spokesperson for the Baltimore City Police Department, told BuzzFeed News that Wood's allegations were "serious and troubling."

"We hope that during his time as both a sworn member and as a sergeant with supervisory obligations, that Mr. Wood reported these disturbing allegations at the time of their occurrence," Silbert wrote in an email to BuzzFeed News. "If he did not, we strongly encourage him to do so now, so that our Internal Affairs Division can begin an immediate investigation."

Silbert also referred to a letter from Police Commissioner Anthony Batts published in the Baltimore Sun a few days after Wood began speaking about his experiences on Twitter. "My mission when I arrived was to [eradicate corruption] with a renewed sense of purpose and determination," Batts wrote, going on to outline reforms he has made and plans to make.

"Many officers will be unhappy reading these words. Many want me to outright defend the department and say nothing is wrong with the way this organization engages in police work," he continued. Batts concluded by encouraging officers and Baltimore residents to report corruption they observed. "Speak out against the beating of a resident at a bus stop or the selling of narcotics on the back porch of a police station."

Wood, who now plans to go into academia to "sow the seeds of understanding in people before they go into law enforcement," said he thinks the key to changing the "broken system of policing" is education and empathy. He said that ideally, he would want cops to be required to have an education beyond a GED, that they be taught "not just what to think, but how to think." Wood, adding that it might be "silly and cheesy," said he believes this would enable officers to see the flaws in the system and fix them, that a better education might enable them to put themselves in the shoes of the people they serve and protect.

More so than an education, Wood believes that during training officers should be required to spend time with the people in the low-income communities they will be serving, getting to know kids in recreation centers or other situations unrelated to crime. "The whole thing is about policing with empathy," Wood emphasized repeatedly. "That could maybe change everything."

Community outreach programs similar to what Wood is talking about have already been undertaken by police departments in Gary, Indiana, Los Angeles, Boston, and a number of other large cities as a part of President Obama's "21st Century Policing Task Force" — though few of these programs are required for all officers or occur during training.

"I regret the whole mentality I had at that time. I regret falling in line with everyone else," Wood told BuzzFeed News. "Now I just want the police to wake up. I’m not indicting the past; I’m just trying to get things to be different in the future."

  • Contact Ema O'Connor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    1 black devider 800 8 72

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A former U.S. Marine and Baltimore police officer who raised nearly $1.2 million to bring hundreds of military veterans to a Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp in North Dakota more than four years ago is suing for alleged civil rights violations.

    Michael Wood Jr.’s lawsuit targets the city of Bismarck, its police department, the Hertz vehicle rental company and Bismarck franchisee Overland West Inc.

    The saga began in December 2016 when a Suburban that Wood had rented in Bismarck became snowbound in a blizzard that hit the protest camp. It culminated with Wood and his wife being detained at the U.S. border in California when returning from a Mexican vacation in August 2019.

    Wood, 41, of Glendale, Arizona, alleges that in between, rental company officials falsely accused him of stealing the Suburban, in retaliation for his social media criticism of the company or his support of the pipeline protest that drew thousands of people to southern North Dakota over a six-month span of 2016-17.

    He claims Bismarck police issued a warrant for his arrest on a felony theft charge without properly trying to find and notify him, for the same retaliatory reason, and that the “malicious” warrant made it impossible for him to find work in the law enforcement and security fields, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

    The warrant also led to Wood and his wife, Jessica, being detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials upon returning from a Mexican vacation in early August 2019, resulting in Michael Wood being handcuffed for hours and his wife suffering a panic and anxiety attack, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in North Dakota. They eventually were released because the warrant indicated only “regional extradition,” the suit states.

    The couple seek unspecified money damages, citing “severe emotional distress and mental anguish” along with economic damages due to “past and future lost time and wages.”

    “There was never any probable cause to support the issuance of criminal process against (Wood), which is made clear by the fact that on March 20, 2020, the charge against (Wood) was dismissed voluntarily by the Burleigh County State Attorney’s Office,” the lawsuit states.

    City Attorney Jannelle Combs declined comment, saying she had not yet been served with the lawsuit.

    Hertz in a statement to the Tribune said the company also had just become aware of the lawsuit.

    “However, based even on a cursory review of it, there appears to be a serious misrepresentation of the facts. Overland West Inc., and Hertz will vigorously defend against these allegations,” the company said.

    What happened to the Suburban after it became snowbound is anything but clear and could influence the outcome of the lawsuit.

    Wood was charged on Jan. 26, 2017, with a felony theft count that carried a maximum punishment of five years in prison. An accompanying affidavit by Bismarck police officer Brad Jerome said, “Hertz policy requires the renter to physically return the vehicle to the rental site,” and that “the vehicle has not been returned.” He estimated the value at $43,000.

    Wood states in the lawsuit that he was told at one point by a rental company official that a vehicle could be reported stolen if it isn’t returned in 30 days. But Wood maintains that Hertz franchisee Overland West charged his card about $4,700 for the rental fee and an insurance fee to cover any vehicle damages, and that when he left the state on Dec. 8, he had made arrangements to extend the rental and insurance “until such time as Overland could recover the vehicle.” He does acknowledge that he returned the wrong set of keys for the Suburban, calling it a mistake.

    Hertz said the Suburban was found abandoned in Bismarck, not where Wood had indicated it was, and that it was extensively damaged.

    Jerome in his affidavit said “numerous attempts” were made to contact Wood, but that his cellphone had been disconnected and his debit card declined. Hertz said that because Wood hadn’t returned the vehicle, Overland West continued to charge his card until it was declined, and that the company alerted authorities as a last resort because it could not reach him.

    Wood maintains he wasn’t that hard to find — that he “was a public figure with active social media accounts, and such accounts allow for easy communication.”

    Court documents show that Burleigh County Assistant State’s Attorney Justin Schwarz on March 19, 2020, moved to dismiss the theft charge, which a judge did the next day.

    Schwarz told the Tribune that he had received information that Hertz had been reimbursed for the value of the vehicle. He said he didn’t recall where the reimbursement came from but that it did not come from Wood. The prosecutor also said the Suburban apparently was at some point auctioned off, and that there were questions about who had used the vehicle, and what county it was in.

    A police incident report filed in January 2017 also indicates there were questions about who had the vehicle after Wood left the state. It says Overland West’s owner had reported seeing the Suburban being driven at one point by someone else.

    “I factored all of this into my assessment of whether there was proof beyond a reasonable doubt of a theft having occurred that could be proved at trial,” Schwarz said.

    Wood claims that authorities didn’t even bother to tell him that the charge was dismissed — that he found out only after contacting a defense attorney in North Dakota about returning to the state to fight the charge.

    The Woods maintain in the lawsuit they filed themselves that their constitutional rights including free speech and due process were violated in retaliation for their support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which fears pollution from the pipeline and has fought it in and outside of court. The Woods seek a jury trial.

    Court documents do not list lawyers for any of the defendants.

    The “Veterans Standing for Standing Rock” effort that Woods helped organize was itself controversial. The North Dakota Veterans Coordinating Council — composed of the American Legion, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Vietnam Veterans of America — at the time publicly said it did not support the action and remained neutral on the pipeline dispute.

    Many people later questioned what happened to the money raised from 26,000 donors for the effort. Wood has said the money was not misused but spent on supplies, hotel rooms and transportation. He told the High Country News in April 2018 that auditing the donations would have cost too much and would not have been a good use of the money.

    But Wood also acknowledges in the lawsuit that he wasn’t prepared to handle the windfall, saying “the fundraiser took off unexpectedly,” and that “suddenly, what had been intended as a small effort became a great logistical challenge.”

     1 black devider 800 8 72


    Yesterday I had two different women send me the link to a story Michael A Wood Jr. had published on Medium in which he details his experiences of being sexually harassed, and how his smoldering good looks have been an unbearable burden for as long as he can remember. I’ll admit that I couldn’t even make it through the second paragraph because I was so disgusted by this man taking a conversation about men in positions of power who sexually harass and assault women and girls (a conversation prompted by the Roy Moore and Al Franken revelations), and using his platform and relatively large Twitter following to make it about himself. Not only was the piece rife with gaslighting and delusions of grandeur, in it he also states that he has had “no less than five women have imaginary intimate relationships” with him. He recalls one such incident in which a girl at his high school became so obsessed with him that he was forced to punch her in the face in order to defend himself.


    But what makes the piece such an insufferable read is the fact that I know Michael personally. And I’m sure that he counted me in with the “no less than five women” who have had imaginary relationships with him, especially considering the fact that he published the piece just days after some prominent progressives/Leftists had retweeted a thread in which I detailed my experience with Michael. I’d shared my story in response to his incredibly disrespectful and ignorant side of an exchange with @thewaywithAnoa, although I’m not a big fan of publicly sharing details about my personal life and relationships, nor making myself vulnerable to strangers. Not everything needs to be played out in the public square, and I am definitely concerned about retaliation. But I will not allow this man, no matter how many followers and connections he has, to slander me and the other very real women he’s taken advantage of with his selfish, reckless, and manipulative behavior. And my side of the story comes with receipts.

    In the summer of 2016 following the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, I logged into an old Twitter account I had created years earlier and forgotten about. I didn’t have cable, and at the time there was very little information coming out of any online MSM outlets. Caught between anger and despondency, and thousands of miles away from the protests, I started following activists and progressive leaders in an effort to learn more about how I could “get involved”.


    with a capital Q

    By October, Twitter was both my main source for activism news, and avoid for me to scream into. That’s when Michael A. Wood Jr., self-proclaimed “Police Scientist”, slid into my DMs. I didn’t really know who he was at the time (I wasn’t there for his rise to Twitter-fame as a half-ass whistle-blower), but right off the bat, he made sure that I learned how important he was to the movement to bring an end to police brutality in America. To be perfectly honest, he isn’t really my type and I thought he was a little corny, but I was going through some things (who wasn’t in late 2016) and he was a welcome distraction.



    It wasn’t long before we started flirting, and at his request, I got the Signal app, which we used to communicate daily. Michael had gone to great lengths to gain my trust and convince me that he was in an open marriage (with whom, I would later learn, was his third wife) and that they had not had a sexual or romantic relationship in years. I started to become concerned that he was falling for me even after I had made it clear that I wasn’t looking to be in a relationship — certainly not with a married man, regardless of the nature of his marriage. But it felt good to be showered with compliments and attention all day, and I felt safe knowing that we were on opposite coasts and would likely never meet. If things ever got out of hand or I felt like he wasn’t respecting boundaries, I could just block his number and move on.

    1yGj7Nt qJV8mn2AtEHaV0g

    Things changed when Wes Clarke Jr. recruited Mike to help him put together a group of veterans to head out to Standing Rock, North Dakota to assist the Water Protectors who had already been camped out for months in their mission to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from being built through sacred sites on treaty land; a pipeline that would gravely endanger the water supply of over 17 million people. Michael started a GoFundMe to get #VeteransStandForStandingRock up and running. After a few TYT interviews, CNN finally did a story on the mission and it exploded. In almost no time, over $1 million was raised and over 4,000 veterans from around the country had pledged to be a part of the mission.

    I had been following the #NoDAPL movement for several months via social media before all of this (most mainstream media outlets would not even mention it) and was eager to assist in any way I could. Mike asked me if I would get the shirts made for the veterans and media who would be heading up with the group, and I accepted. Around the same time, I also introduced my brother, a Marine veteran, to Michael, and he became an important part of the operation.


    “the individual I live with” #redflag

    Between being a single mom in the middle of a move across town, work, the impending holiday season, and getting a rush order of over 200 shirts made (before we realized how many veterans would answer Wes’ and Michael’s call to


    We can save the discussion on how problematic it is that Wes wanted that scripture printed on the shirts for another day.

    action), time seemed to fly by. My relationship with Mike became kind of a friends-with-benefits thing, and we made plans to meet up in the week leading up to the mission when he would be in LA doing press and speaking engagements. He seemed to be convinced that our initial meet-up would go so well that he started planning ahead, and had even surprised me by buying a plane ticket for me to meet him in Atlanta where he would be for his dissertation several months later. I turned that offer down but was still excited (and a bit anxious) to kick it before his trip to Standing Rock.

    1 yw fvVzhDIQ5mlyyrf5wA


    Long story short, we met up a few times in late November and early December, both in my city and in Los Angeles where he was staying (he swooped me up in the Jaguar he had rented using money from the GoFundMe). The night before he got on the plane for North Dakota, I accompanied him to a Circles of Voices event where he was guest speaking alongside his friend and fellow activist JC Faulk, who would also be heading to Standing Rock with the veterans group.

    The next morning, Michael arrived in Standing Rock and promptly declared mission accomplished. Pandemonium ensued, including a video that went viral of Wes Clarke Jr. apologizing to tribal elders on behalf of the American military (?), a blizzard hitting the area and trapping many of the veterans in the camp and casino, and Wes bouncing out of ND on a private plane in the wee small hours of the morning because he believed he was being targeted by Tiger Swan mercenaries. With Wes gone, Michael took over leadership of the operation.

    When it was all said and done, the pipeline was temporarily halted and Michael and the team he had put together worked to get all of the veterans home and reimbursed for their travel expenses using whatever money was left in the GoFundMe, which was linked to Michael’s personal bank account.

    1eogEK sUoxYmA4jttLg9Og

    Where you at, Tulsi?

    It was at this time that Michael announced that he would be starting a non-profit organization called Veterans Stand, and the goal of the org would be to provide support and protection for communities in need, and as in the case with the Water Protectors in Standing Rock, to assist protesters in their efforts to stand up against large corporations and their own government. He asked me to come work for the organization designing and producing merchandise to be sold in the online store to raise funds for future missions, including one planned mission to Flint, Michigan (which never happened). I accepted, still thinking his intentions were good and got started producing shirts, banners, and stickers without signing any dotted lines (I know, I know), as well as hiring my sister to design the official logo for the organization.

    1sJiwcRRKv 5LNcliuWryaA

    It wasn’t long, however, before Michael’s true intentions became clear. He announced that he would base the org out of Los Angeles and planned to move there from his home in Pennsylvania. Privately, he bragged that Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard had agreed to be on the board of Veterans Stand. He also bragged that Cenk had all but guaranteed him a permanent position on TYT. He began looking for condos in Los Angeles, and clearly, his intention was not to live among the communities the org was supposed to be serving. He settled on a luxury condo in Playa Vista, a community that caters to the elite and has the feel of a Disneyland ToonTown for grownups. Michael justified using Veterans Stand funds to pay the full 1-year $50,000 lease by saying that it would be used as a “basecamp” for anyone who was in LA for a VS mission. He was also quick to point out the condo’s proximity to the TYT studios, and that his new wealthy liberal neighbors would be easy to seduce into donating generously to the cause.

    1 CS7xM392JdE8ezMQAst8Q

    what does it look like I do for a living?

    In early March, I drove up to meet Michael at the condo for the first time to deliver the latest batch of shirts and collect some of those benefits. Avi, who works with Mike’s Civilian-Led Policing org, and Sam Ronan were already there. I immediately expressed my discomfort with the condo and it’s location, noting that it was not wise to use non-profit funds for such a swanky crib. Michael just laughed it off. He wasn’t officially moved in yet, and was just stopping by to pick up thousands of dollars worth of cannabis edibles that had also been purchased using VS funds, before he and the rest of the team would fly out to the East Coast to lockdown the Sun Trust Bank during the “NoDAPL Divestment March” in Washington DC. I stayed the night and dropped Mike and my brother off a the airport the following night.

    After our latest meet-up, and between his questionable intentions regarding the non-profit and some weird vibes I was picking up, I decided to end the “benefits” side to our friendship a week later. We agreed that I would still do merchandise for the org and get paid once the online store was up and running (which never happened). I had already arranged everything with the printers and shipping company, and the shirts were just sitting in boxes in a warehouse waiting. I moved on.


    If you would, please allow me to pause for a moment so that I may claim some personal responsibility and hold myself accountable for allowing so much bullshit to slide. It’s been a rough road trying to forgive myself for completely ignoring my instincts in favor of some convenient dick, and I’m not here to paint myself as the


    The desperate or unwilling damsel who was coerced into being Rumplestiltskin’s WCW in exchange for some bullshit-spun-to-gold. There were red flags flying all over the place from the moment I met this dude… The most obvious of which being that he was a cop for over 10 years. And although he had been retired for some time when I met him, it wasn’t hard to see that he still possessed all the character traits of a man who would be attracted to a career as an oppressor. But even though I chose to ignore my instincts telling me to GET OUT, it’s not like I was out trolling the internets looking for love or an object to obsess over. He used his blue check to contact me privately, and he put a lot of effort into pursuing me, including stalking my social media to get himself more quickly and acquainted and make himself feel more familiar to me (even going so far as to follow me from his preadolescent daughter’s twitter account). And the relationship and sex that I consented to were with the understanding that he was not already in a monogamous relationship with his wife, and he explicitly told me on more than one occasion that he was not having a sexually or emotionally intimate relationship with anyone else (red flag #9817238).

    About a month after I cut things off sexually, Mike had moved himself into the condo and was preparing for his wife and daughter to move out with him once the school year ended. My brother mentioned that a woman who is a friend of mine had been over one night to see Mike. I asked her about it later… and all Hell broke loose. As it turned out, Mike had been having an ongoing flirtatious friendship with her, in addition to a sexual relationship with another woman who worked for VS, who is also a friend of mine. Messy.

    We began comparing notes and timelines and came to realize that he had been having relationships with all three of us concurrently, and there was sufficient evidence to suggest that there were several other women that he was involved with as well. These women have a right to decide whether or not they want to share their experience with this man, so I will not comment much further than that, other than to say that of the five that I was aware of, I was by far the oldest, and I’m 5 years younger than Michael.

    While comparing notes, I also found out that Michael had called and berated one of these women (my friend from VS) over the phone after she had replied to one of his tweets in disagreement. This was someone who was also a very supportive friend and who had helped him build his org and brand over many months. After we had talked amongst ourselves, I called Michael on the phone and confronted him about his lies and multiple affairs. I demanded that he apologize to his wife and to these other women and that he pay me for my work so that I could be done with him for good. He fell apart, accused one of the other women of “forcing herself” on him and “weaponizing” me against him, and hung up.


    Emeka, please.

    The following day, he instructed another member of VS to fire that woman, then proceeded to contact her personal friends (who had no ties to the org) to tell them that she was obsessed with him and that he was worried about her mental state. Look, I’m 33 years old, have worked in a male-dominated industry for my entire career, and I have never seen gaslighting as outrageous as this in my entire life. Over the next day, he continued to send me text messages insinuating that I had also been “way over the line aggressive” the last time we had been together, and that he “didn’t feel good or willing then”. I understood this to be a threat, that if I told people (namely his wife) about us that he would say I had assaulted him, which he had already done to my friend.

    During this time, I was also in contact with my brother who was still at the condo with Mike. He informed me that there was a loaded gun on the floor of the master bedroom closet and that he was concerned that Mike was spiraling out of control. To be clear, Michael A. Wood Jr., who has stated countless times that there is no such thing as a responsible gun owner, and who stated on the Joe Rogan podcast that he does not own any firearms, had a loaded shotgun on the floor of his closet. For my brother’s and Mike’s family’s safety, I reached out to Michael’s wife, who was due to arrive in town with their daughter just a few days later. I briefly explained to her the nature of my friendship with Michael and that, after realizing he had lied about just about everything else, it had occurred to me that he may also have been lying about the nature of their marriage. I apologized, for whatever that was worth, and warned her about the gun. She did not reply to me that day, and Michael ceased all communication with me after that.

    After some of the other VS board members got wind of what was going on, Michael was pressured to step down from his position as “Executive Director” of the org, but was allowed to remain on the board of directors. Unfortunately, too many bridges had already been burned by this point, and several volunteers and board members (some of whom had been a part of the original mission to Standing Rock) had left due to Michael’s poor leadership and inability to listen or work with others. Other than assisting with the clean-up of Oceti (which Michael did not participate in), and tagging along on the Vans Warped Tour to promote the Civilian-Led Policing org, Veterans Stand never had another official operation. Several former board members have also come forward with allegations of misappropriation of funds, but for that, I have no receipts so I’ll let the IRS handle it, I guess.

    In a few tweets here and there, I’ve given a much less detailed account of what transpired with the hopes that it would save real activists who are doing good work from compromising their efforts by including Michael, and to prevent what happened to me from happening to anyone else (outside the several other women who have already come forward with similar stories).

    We would be wise to consider that Michael didn’t blow the whistle about the corruption, crime, and racism he witnessed within the Baltimore Police Department. He left because he was forced to retire due to an injury, and despite building a career over a decade long as an oppressor in what is considered to be one of the most corrupt police departments in the country, he didn’t begin speaking out about the corruption and racism until he was already collecting his pension. And when he finally did come forward in a series of tweets, he declined to provide names, dates, and the kind of specific information that would be necessary for an investigation to be launched at the very least. Perhaps he was afraid of implicating himself. Perhaps we’d do well to hold our allies and those who stand to build a name for themselves off of Black and Brown suffering to a higher degree of scrutiny. Michael A Wood Jr. may be a philanderer, a pathological liar, a master manipulator, and a charlatan, but WE allowed him in our spaces, we gave him a stage. And so it is on us, especially our White allies and especially other men, to take stock of our priorities and cut the rot out of the wood before it poisons the whole tree.

    Mike Wood, the Rose Armitage of activism, and still a proud card-carrying member of the FOP, loved to boast about hiring and recruiting women and PoC in his endeavors as a way of demonstrating how “progressive” and inclusive he is. What he doesn’t boast about is the fact that he relies as much upon the skills, intellect, creativity, and labor of the women and PoC around him as he does on the credibility they afford him. We were his armor against any allegations of misogyny or racism. And that’s not just dangerous for the people working with him and their reputations as organizers and activists within their respective communities, it’s dangerous for the movement.

    1 black devider 800 8 72Feelings about Former Sgt Wood's comments

    Ken says he has his doubts about Wood's comments, first why doesn't he remember anyone's name. Second he was fine with the so called abuses while he was collecting a check, only after he is about to lose his job does he come up with all these stories, the first a detective slapping someone for walking into a detective while one was exting and the other was entering a store. Baltimore has an interesting internal affiars, in it, you don't have to be the offended/victim of a police officers infraction, so anyone seeing miscounduct can call and make a complaint and an investigation would be conducted, officers could loose days, be suspended, or terminated. They check run sheets and talk to every officer that was on the call, unlike TV where officer's don't talk, officers often tell on each other, after all, if one officer covers for another, and then someone tells what they saw and it is proven you lied, the officer that lied could lose his or her job, while the officer that cursed someone might only lose vacation time. So, as i understand, no officer is going to risk a job paying $70K (when ken was on) to protect an officer that if they broke a law, most likely isn't worth the time of day. Police hate overly aggressive police, so they would really hate officers that actually strike people, and other than another dirty cop, no one is going to cover. I have also heard that officers make anonymous complaints about guys on their shifts, after all, if everyone knows Officer So and So reports someone for cursing, smoking, yelling at someone etc, then that officer will get a cold shoulder, and not see infractions, like anyone that has information they want given to police, a lot of police will provide the information anonymously. No one in Baltimore would allow an officer to slap them or anyone around them without someone filing a complaint. He said someone kicked someone in the face, like punting a football, Ken said these sound like fantasies, things he wished he could do, but no one actually did this, again, no one would standby and allow this without saying something, especially the person allegedly kicked, A kick of that magnitude would fracture the bones in a face, break a nose, eye socket, jaw, or even the skull, the kind of thing that doesn't go unnoticed, and sounds more like fiction than fact. His claim that during a search and seizure the officers/detectives urinated and defecated on the suspect's bed, furniture etc. Again, reading this would allow police to do these things and not say a single word, multiple police urinate and defecate on your bed, your couch, chairs, your floor etc and nothing is ever said. Ken said, when you go in your take pre-entry photos, and before you leave you take a second set of photos, you are not to toss the place, flip things over, empty draws, cabinets etc. and if someone leaves a mess complaints have been made, if someone or a group of officers, were to do something as disgusting as to urinate and defecate on someone's property, no one on this planet would let that go without saying a single word and in fact, I think if someone did do that kind of thing, the media would be notified. So, all of Wood's stories sound farfetched, and like the rest of his stories he claims to know where thigs happen about when but has amnesia as to who the officers were. If these stories were true, only certain units do mass raids, so finding who did the alleged raids would be easy to find, if someone kicked someone in the face, it would be easy to go to the location and research who all was arrested at that location, and by who. If officers really did these things, ken says by all means they should be arrested and charged, but as for Michael Wood being a whistle blower, whistle blowers name names, locations and events, here smoke might be being blown, but there is now whistle, as the term whistle blower is linked to the use of a whistle to alert the public or a crowd about such problems as the commission of a crime or the breaking of rules during a game. The phrase whistle blower attached itself to law enforcement officials in the 19th century because they used a whistle to alert the public or fellow police.  Ken said, it seems like Wood is more blowing smoke than a whistle, and the media has it out for police so much at the time Wood was spreading his tales, that they ignored the fact that in reporting they are after the Who What When Where and Why... all Woods gave them was an alleged "What" he didn't give the Who, the When, the Where or the Why...  All things that when asked by the department to turn over to them, or to the State's Attorney's office, he never did, often saying he didn't know names... Ken said his refusing to meet with investigators to try to help find names while he was working so hard to clean up corruption, was a strong sign that his stories didn't ring true. 

    Not long after all this he was raising funds to help stop a pipeline, he was married at the time, yet he was said to have made advances toward several woman. He also used funds collected to live large, which doesn't seem legal, it would be nice to know how he filed taxes on the funds raised and spent. These are the personal notes of the Baltimore Police Historical Society, this page isn't meant for public use, I found saving information like this on prove pages, helps me find these records in the future when needed to answer questions by authors, and others that approach us questioning his statement's.