(BALTIMORE – August 28, 2017) – An endorsement of this magnitude might seem early for some, but not if you truly know Ivan Bates. After yesterday, I can truly say that Team Bmorenews definitely believes in Ivan Bates and whatever path he chooses to follow.
At present, he officially announced his intention to run for office in the June primary against incumbent Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. To say the least, this has been a long-anticipated development. Meticulously, this accomplished defense attorney has orchestrated a standout team of volunteers and delivered one of the most impressive announcements I’ve seen.
At 10 am, his supporters convened at the home of Kendal Fenwick on Park Heights Avenue just above Park Circle. Kendal Fenwick was killed Monday, November 9, 2015. The Baltimore Sun would later report that his death was a case of mistaken identity. Many of the family members and community residents believe he was targeted because he took a stand against drug dealers.
Whatever the case, the father of three has gone on.
This is but one of Bates’ reasons for entering what could be viewed as a tough race. Marilyn Mosby supporters may be difficult to sway. After all, she became an instant media darling amidst the Freddie Gray case.
This becomes a second reason why Bates asserts that he is the better candidate. And this is where I first learned about Bates and what type of man he is: By way of his firm’s (Bates & Garcia) defense of Sgt. Alicia White.
Granted, he is a strong defense lawyer with an excellent pedigree. A graduate of The Marshall–Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary, commonly referred to as William & Mary Law School, he attended the oldest law school in the United States.
According to www.IvanBates.com, he served his country in foreign and domestic assignments as a member of the 32nd Air Defense Artillery unit in the U.S. Army. Afterwards, he enrolled in college through the GI Bill at Howard University and would go on to graduate with honors. Further, he served as Howard University Student Association President from 1991 to 1992.
“In 1995, Ivan came to Baltimore to be a law clerk and to care for his Aunt Edna when her health started to decline. She lived on North Avenue and 23rd Street. Back then, Ivan saw how she was almost paralyzed by the crime in her community. It was the fear his Aunt Edna endured that motivated Ivan to become a prosecutor in Baltimore City. In those early years, Ivan clerked for the NAACP Legal Defense and for the Honorable David B. Mitchell for the Circuit Court of Baltimore City.
He was later offered the position of Assistant State’s Attorney in the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. There, he worked in the Juvenile Crime Division and the Homicide division, where he never lost a murder trial. After serving as a homicide prosecutor, Ivan went on to start his own law practice. A successful small business owner, Ivan has remained involved in community and civic organizations. In recent years, Ivan served as President of the Monumental Bar Association, where he promoted causes such as the recruitment of African-Americans into the field of law.”
As a person, Ivan is one of the most down-to-earth people ever. His real story is of truly humble beginnings. And I do mean humble. Yet, he was blessed with the support of people who gave him a ton of love.
Does he understand adversity? Believe me, this man understands it better than most. He knows what it means to be without, to feel abandoned, and to truly appreciate the simplest of blessings. And he understands sacrifice, commitment, honor and hard-work. These guiding principles have shaped him into the husband, father, leader and professional that he is today.
It is one thing to have Stokey Cannady at your announcement. People who know Cannady understand that he is the quintessential example of a person in Baltimore with ‘street cred’. It is also nice to have fraternity brothers and white colleagues. But when this man’s wife greeted the crowd and began to talk about him, it was all of the endorsement I personally needed to hear.
In a day and time when black married couples are at an all-time low in the black community, any time I see a married couple supporting each other – publicly, my hat goes off.
Having reported on the black experience for the past 23 years, it warms my soul to hear a black woman speak so succinctly yet effortlessly about her man. Real talk! Dr. Lana Bates, upon taking the podium, said the most powerful words any man could hear from his woman – that she loves him and that she supports him.
Going back to the Freddie Gray Case, I should add that is when I got a chance to see Bates’ skills as an attorney. That’s also where I first saw his heart. As a resident of Sandtown who was as bitter as every other member of the community as it relates to the police, I have come to believe that Sgt. Alicia White was not worthy of the vitriol of an angered community. Even more, I think she was thrown under the bus and unfairly used as a political pawn.
In any event, I have gotten a chance to spend a lot of time conversing with Bates since those dark days in Baltimore. I have seen him at work and I have seen him in the community. Therefore, Bmorenews.com 100% endorses Ivan Bates for State’s Attorney of Baltimore City.
I believe he will bring a sense of compassion to the State’s Attorney’s Office. And I think he will help orchestrate a better administration when it comes to pressing down on crime in Baltimore City.
Need I remind that we have seen three years of rocketing murder rates not seen since the 90s. On television, the current State’s Attorney is seen blasting the Police Commissioner and vice versa. Nothing can get accomplished when there is discord. Internally, the State’s Attorney’s Office is riddled with a loss of qualified personnel, several of whom are black women.
No, I do not know all of the details, but I get the impression that there is serious reason for alarm. Further, I don’t care about the State’s Attorney’s celebrity; I care about the well-being of the people of Sandtown and Baltimore City, overall.
National TV spots mean nothing when a criminal in Baltimore seems more empowered than tax-paying citizens. Not long ago, I watched the face of a senior woman entering The Avenue Market. She seemed petrified.
While nobody is discussing it, the truth is that Baltimore is in a “Black Hawk Down” situation where the City is lacking hundreds of officers. Hence, there is no wonder why the remaining cops are not inspired to do their job. Now, we can say otherwise, but at the end of the day, they are human. Cops just don’t believe that there is enough support from leaders in order for them to go out there and do their jobs.
Somehow, faith must be restored in law enforcement. And I think Bates is a serious part of that discussion and effort.
We endorse Ivan Bates for State’s Attorney for Baltimore City. He is the right person for the assignment. #ivanbates