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Posted at 6:45 PM ET, 12/ 2/2010

Hylton supporters take aim at Baker

By Matt Zapotosky
Matt Zapotosky

Dozens of Prince George's County civic associations and community activists who rallied last month in support of police chief Roberto Hylton sharpened their rhetoric against the incoming county executive Thursday, saying they were "outraged" by the process by which Rushern Baker apparently decided he needed a new chief.

The group calling itself The Coalition of Prince George's County Organizations and Leaders did not take questions at a news conference at Trinity Moravian Church, but members said they had been excluded from Baker's transition process. The conference came in response to news that Hylton would be replaced as chief after Baker takes office Monday.

"We believe that the community has not had a voice in this process," said Hakim Muhammad, president of the Kingswood Civic Association. "Repeatedly, we've asked to come to the table. That has not happened."

Scott Peterson, a Baker spokesman, said Baker's transition committee was made up of a "diverse cross section" of people "representing all interests" in the county. He said that Baker had held a listening event specifically on the topic of public safety, and Baker had invited people to share their opinions with him through his transition Web site.

"The transition committee itself has been very open and listened to all interested parties in the community," he said.

The group's outrage creates an interesting backdrop for Baker's inauguration on Monday. Baker will seemingly lose some points with residents should he appoint an interim chief as expected, and the interim chief will have an uphill battle winning residents approval. Peterson said Thursday that no final decision has been made on whether Hylton will be replaced. Hylton continued to say no one from the Baker camp had talked to him about his future.

Hylton also said he has intentionally "stayed away" from the coalition's news conferences because he did not want to get involved in the "political chaos." His brother, former sheriff's candidate Rafael Hylton, was in attendance.

The coalition also took aim Thursday at the police union - claiming it has too much influence on Baker. Members praised Hylton for his efforts to discipline corrupt and incompetent officers and made frequent references to the fact that 46 are suspended or on desk duty for some type of malfeasance.

One of the coalition members, the Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association, said a "hit list" of Hylton supporters, all minority officers, had been circulating inside the police department, and those on the list would face retaliation in a new chief's administration. The group declined to provide any proof of the list but said it would be submitted to the Justice Department for a possible investigation.

By Matt Zapotosky  | December 2, 2010; 6:45 PM ET
Categories:  Matt Zapotosky, Pr. George's  
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Sounds like the new Exec will have an interesting (and likely) successful tenure, by listening to new voices with less tread.

Posted by: MissV | December 2, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

You sheep just don't get it, do ya?

You keep putting the same types in office but expect different results. And this one was a TWO-TIME LOSER but ya'll put him in there so you get what you get.

I told ya'll, if think Geechi Jack was something, you ain't seen nothing yet

Just you wait...

Posted by: kahlua87 | December 2, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

The proportions of this story seem to be DEGENERATING, more and more, into a minuscule BUSH-LEAGUE FARCE at the expense of VICTIMS OF CRIME.

Try to IMAGINE the SUPER HERO we need to clean up Prince Is Gorgeous County.

The PROBLEM is, that BAKER will not search for, find and hire someone who is GREATER and MORE COMPETENT than his OWN LITTLE SELF.

It seems as if our only prayer is that PG not take, in BAKER, a TURN FOR THE WORSE.

Posted by: polecatx1 | December 3, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Actually, polecatx1, there is an alternative prayer, and it's this:

Dear lord, please let the real estate market recover, even if just a little, so I can sell my house and get the hell out of this god-forsaken county, where my only choices for political leadership seem to be between "Bad" and "Worse", just as soon as I possibly can. Amen.

Posted by: Orsalia | December 3, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Amen Orsalia, but without mentioning those who have been here for tens thousands of years, there are those of us who have been here for hundreds of years with ancestors buried in the cemeteries.

That is why we study the laws, take pictures, write letters and testify at hearings.

Give them hell or burn in hell, or both and then some.

Posted by: polecatx1 | December 3, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

These so called civic groups in Prince George's County need to give it a rest. It is the County Executive prerogative hire department heads for his/her administration. And, BTW I am one Prince Georgian who believes we can do better than a Police Chief who allows officers to cheat of exams to serve on the force, and then transfer the instructo who gave them the answers. As the old saying goes, garbage in, garbage out.

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | December 3, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Did the chief provide rides in police vehicles for these people to attend? He did at other events. This is nothing different than what politicians do. They sell votes, hylton sold his soul, to try to keep a job he got as a favor from jack. Good Bye!

Posted by: curiousGeorge4 | December 3, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

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