Let me start by saying that I am as pro-law enforcement as you can get.

From 1974 to 1980, I was a patrol officer in a large city in the San Francisco Bay area. That was followed by a short stint as a deputy sheriff in Penobscot County here in my home state until I was recalled to active military duty, where I served until retirement in 1991.

Both of my sons are career military police officers, and one of my granddaughters is an MP in the Maine National Guard.

That said, I have to question whether or not the Baltimore police officers who arrested Freddie Gray really arrested him because he “made eye contact” with them. I have not heard of any other probable cause. Maybe I have missed something.

If that was really their reason for taking Gray into custody, then anything ensuing was the fault of the officers.

It doesn’t matter what happened in the van or what happened in the jail – eye contact is not probable cause. Gray was detained illegally.

Any cop who decides to arrest somebody simply because he didn’t like the way someone made eye contact with him is totally unprofessional – and one has to wonder what kind of training he has had and whether that kind of training or, lack of it, is common to the Baltimore Police Department.

Robert E. Blanchard

South Portland