Even though a large portion of America and the world stood with Baltimore with their passionate uprising, we feared the much-needed unrest would die with the rest of the causes the Internet chooses to forget about. However, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Justice Department are not letting up on the Baltimore Police Department.
In a press conference this morning (May 8), Ms. Lynch announced that an investigation will soon be conducted in relation to the practices and inner workings of the BPD that may have caused 25-year-old Freddie Gray‘s fatal spinal injury.
According to a press release, the Department of Justice’s investigation “will seek to determine whether there are systemic violations of the Constitution or federal law by officers of [the Baltimore Police Department]… The investigation will focus on BPD’s use of force, including deadly force, and its stops, searches and arrests, as well as whether there is a pattern or practice of discriminatory policing.”
This is a big step in the right direction in fixing the systematic breakdown of the law enforcement in the Baltimore area. A similar investigation was conducted last year in response to the murder of 17-year-old Michael Brown (Apr. 12) by police officer, Darren Wilson, in Ferguson, Missouri. The seven-month long investigation led to the discovery of 161 use-of-force complaints against the Ferguson Police Department between 2010 and 2014 that were “racially biased.”
If there is discovery of discriminatory patterns or practices within the BPD, the DOJ will ask the police department to conduct “sweeping changes” in their policies. If the BPD refuses to make suggested changes, the matters will be brought to a federal judge and the department will be mandated to make the necessary changes.
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