Today, the Department of Justice announced that they have found evidence supporting that the Baltimore Police Department unlawfully and routinely stops, searches and arrests it’s black citizens. The investigation launched last year after
citizens constantly reported BPD’s pattern of violating constitutional rights and even sexual assault.
In a statement, the department said, “BPD makes stops, searches and arrests without the required justification; uses enforcement strategies that unlawfully subject African Americans to disproportionate rates of stops, searches and arrests; uses excessive force; and retaliates against individuals for their constitutionally-protected expression.”
It is also reported that between 2010-2014, West and Central BPD officers recorded over 111,500 stops which account for 44% of the total stops, “Yet these are the two least populated police districts in Baltimore, with a combined population of only 75,000, or 12 percent of City residents.”
The DOJ has ascertained that BPD’s behavior is a direct consequence of “systematic deficiencies” which have ultimately cost them the trust of Baltimore residents.
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch goes into further detail about their findings.
“Our investigation found that Baltimore is a city where the bonds of trust have been broken, and that the Baltimore Police Department engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful and unconstitutional conduct, ranging from the use of excessive force to unjustified stops, seizures and arrests. The results of our investigation raise serious concerns, and in the days ahead, the Department of Justice will continue working tirelessly to ensure that all Baltimoreans enjoy the safety, security and dignity they expect and deserve.”
If you’d like to view the 163-page letter in its entirety, head over to Justice.gov!
TSR STAFF: Talia O. @theclosetratchet on Instagram & @tallyohhh on Twitter!