Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Justice Department to Release Blistering Report of Racial Bias by Baltimore Police

"I commend the Department of Justice for their thorough investigation of the Baltimore Police Department following the death of Freddie Gray. I am troubled by the broad range of unconstitutional and blatantly discriminatory practices that were uncovered through this investigation. These findings echo the need to pass comprehensive policing reform legislation this Congress. The people of Baltimore deserve a fair and just police department that works on their behalf to protect and serve. My hope is that the agreement established between the city and the Justice Department will forge positive reforms to the Baltimore Police Department in the coming months and years." said Conyers

The Justice Department has found that the Baltimore Police Department for years has hounded black residents who make up most of the city’s population, systematically stopping, searching and arresting them, often with little provocation or rationale.
In a blistering report, coming more than a year after Baltimore erupted into riots over the police-involved death of a 25-year-old black man, Freddie Gray, the Justice Department is sharply critical of policies that encouraged police officers to charge black residents with minor crimes. A copy of the report was obtained by The New York Times.
The critique is the latest example of the Obama administration’s aggressive push for police reforms in cities where young African-American men have died at the hands of law enforcement.
The findings, to be released Wednesday, are the first formal step toward the Justice Department’s reaching a settlement with Baltimore — known as a “consent decree” — in which police practices would be overhauled under the oversight of a federal judge. The department started the inquiry at the invitation of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

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