Mayor asks DOJ to probe Baltimore Police for racial bias

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has asked the Department of Justice to investigate whether the Baltimore Police Department routinely engages in racial-bias and excessive force.

“The attorney general is actively considering that option [of an investigation] in light of what she heard from law enforcement, city officials, and community, faith and youth leaders in Baltimore yesterday,” said Dena Iverson, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice.

The Mayor’s request comes in response to the death of Freddie Gray, a 25 year-old black man who died in police custody last month.

The Department of Justice was already investigating whether or not Freddie Gray’s civil rights had been violated in the incident in which he died.

A similar Justice Department probed took place in Ferguson, Missouri after an unarmed black teen was killed by police last summer, which also resulted in riots in that city. That probe found the Ferguson police routinely practiced racial bias and resulted in the resignation of their chief of police and several judges and officials.

Newly minted Attorney General Loretta Lynch traveled to Baltimore on Tuesday to meet with members of the community.

“I know that we have struggles, and we are here to help you work through those struggles in the way that will hopefully be the best and most productive way for this department,” said Lynch. “But to all of you who are on the front lines, I just want to say thank you.”

 

[BBC][NY Post][Photo courtesy the AP]