A Tribute to the Men and Women of the Baltimore Police Department
with the Baltimore Police Department in Baltimore, Maryland.
Courtesy Artist - Leo Kahl
Click on any of the Following Pictures on this Page to See Leo Kahl's Video
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Rioters lit a police car on fire at Penn and North Avenue. Another cut the fire hose as firefighters battled the blaze. Watching the city in flames during the riots of April 2015, was “heartbreaking” for the many who see the city as part of our town even if you live in one of the surrounding counties, chances are you view Baltimore as your hometown. It is sometimes hard to see the number of people that support our police. Those that realize, one bad teacher doesn't make all teachers bad, one bad priest is not cause to end religion, and trash all religion. There are those that think because you put on a uniform, and pin on the badge, you are no longer human, no longer think for yourself, and that all police are like minded. It is, however, good to know, there are those that understand, police are humans, they are individuals with individual thoughts, and individual actions; they go to work every day, just like an auto mechanic, a doctor, a sanitation worker, a priest, teacher or attorney. They may wear a uniform that looks like the officer next to them, down the street from them or across town from them, but just as family members living in the same house have different opinions and different thought processes, so do our police.
Leo Kahl, a local artist, seeing the riots felt compelled to capture the events in watercolor, he donated that work of art to the Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll, so that it could be used to help preserve this it of history, and help tell a story of this painful part of our city and our police department's history. I view this as an outstanding painting that does not take a side, as a retired detective, I don't take sides, I see this as a loss for everyone. The mayor who either by choice or poor wording invited a riot that we seemed to have avoided a day earlier. She brought on rioting the next day due to a speech that night in which the mayor said,
“I made it very clear that I worked with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech,” Rawlings-Blake said. “It’s a very delicate balancing act. Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate.”
She would later say what she meant by saying, "Gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well" was that "While giving protesters an ability to exercise their right to free speech, she inadvertently," "gave those who wished to destroy, the space to do that as well." Not that she was intentionally giving the green light to destroy just a poorly phrased sentence that was misunderstood. This was said the night before the big riot, and it seemed as if some felt they had permission the night before so they would go out and take a second bite at that apple. In my opinion; as a professional public speaker she should be more careful with her words. Regardless of her intent, the media took it and ran with it, looping the part of the speech that made it seem as if she was giving permission to riot. As if the media wanted two things, one to make sure that part of the speech was not missed, and two to see to it the public took her up on her offer. As if directing a movie, or picking a fight, the media was looking for a disturbance, and wouldn't stop until they picked a riot. They tried again the day the remaining charges were dropped on three of the Baltimore 6. A reporter stood on the steps of the courthouse and said, "I am not sure what is going on at Pennsylvania Ave and North, but I would imagine there will be large crowds and more protesting!" They switched the Pennsy and North where crowds were minimal, and when approached, many said things like it was expected after the first three verdicts, et, but it was not heated, just a little down. A few more comments from the courthouse about the crowds will most likely build as she is sure the community would not be happy with the verdicts and choice of dropping charges. It seemed as if either she was trying to instigate bigger crowds and more violence, or embarrassed that she was wrong, and working to correct her vision by building larger crowds. I should point out this happened in 2015/2016 long before today's claims of "Fake News." I don't know much about Fake News, but I do think the media should report what happens, not what "will" happen, what they think is happening or what should happen, They should never tell us why something happened unless they have facts as to why it happened. But to say, something happened, or what someone was thinking, or probably thinking only serves to discredit them as a news source. This leads to a distrust in the media, and in Baltimore 2015 may have taken part in the April Riots.
All that aside, I am thankful for the work of Leo Kahl to help us preserve this part of our history, he took an ugly part of our history and made it beautiful. We will be displaying it alongside, a riot helmet, shield, and baton used to defend our police from angry mods. I should also point out we had citizens placing themselves between the police and rioters in a locked arms chain as a show of support for their police and their community.
As the President of the Baltimore Police Historical Society, I am naming this outstanding artist as one of our Honorary Police Historians while I thank him personally for his beautiful piece of art that I can't say enough how thankful we are and how well it will serve as a way of preserving this part of our history.
Leo Kahl was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Has always had a natural ability to draw and visualize objects in 3-dimensional space, his talent evolved throughout his childhood. A Jon Gnagy, “Learn to Draw” instructional kit ( Once a Christmas gift from his parents ) would provide the initial basis for his understanding the values and the effects of light on objects. Solid instruction from high school art teachers furthered his artistic education, enabling an entry-level drafting position with a civil engineering firm in Baltimore. Formal art education was later obtained at the Maryland Institute, College of Art or MICA as it is known as today. It was there that he came to appreciate and admire many of history’s more prominent artists. Over the next 30 plus years, Leo would marry his natural creative ability to “envision” solutions within the disciplines of engineering, product development, and marketing science. A passion for art and painting continues to drive him to create all manner of imagery ranging from serene rural subjects and dimly lit interiors to intimate portraits of family and friends. His paintings hang in the corporate offices of many top-tier companies including, Westinghouse, GMC, Akzo Nobel, Bally’s, Serenco, Marconi and the homes of many prominent Maryland families. We are proud to say, this work of art now graces the walls of our Baltimore City Police Museum, and is displayed on the pages of our Baltimore City Police History Site Leo Kahl currently lives in Maryland with his wife Robin of 36 years, his dog Wyeth and cats Alice, Nessie and Figaro. He is a brilliant artist that we are proud to call our friend.
To learn more about Leo Kahl please visit his website http://www.leokahlwatercolors.com/index.html
Copies of: Your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and or Brochures. Information on Deceased Officers and anything that may help Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency. Please contact Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll.
How to Dispose of Old Police Items
Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.
Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll