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.
“I was just formulating my thoughts,” Wood told BuzzFeed News. Since the relationship between Baltimore residents and its police force came under national scrutiny after the death of Freddie Gray and the ensuing riots, Wood said he had been talking to local news sources and radio shows. “I didn’t intend it as any sort of huge statement; I’ve been speaking about this for ages and no one has paid attention. I didn’t think anyone cared.” Within four hours, his number of followers had quadrupled and his tweets had been retweeted thousands of times.