A day after U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch visited Baltimore in the wake of unrest after Freddie Gray died of fatal injuries received in police custody, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the city’s embattled police department, according to a live report on CNN.
Lynch visited the city on Tuesday and attended a series of meetings with the mayor, embattled Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, and members of Gray’s family, reports The Baltimore Sun. Gray’s death reinflamed nationwide tensions over police brutality in Black communities, sparking sometimes violent protests last week.
Justice Department spokesperson Dena Iverson released a statement Wednesday regarding the possible DOJ investigation:
“The Attorney General has received Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s request for a Civil Rights Division ‘pattern or practice’ investigation into the Baltimore Police Department. The Attorney General is actively considering that option in light of what she heard from law enforcement, city officials, and community, faith and youth leaders in Baltimore yesterday.”
Rawlings-Blake’s announcement follows a bold move last week by Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby to bring charges against six police officers in Gray’s death, which has been ruled a homicide.
From The Baltimore Sun:
After meeting with elected leaders, clergy and activists at four locations in Baltimore, Lynch said the city has come to symbolize police and community mistrust — an issue that plagues many cities across America.
We’re going to try to come up with solutions, real solutions for the city of Baltimore to improve this city,” Lynch said. “That is our goal. That is our commitment. It is my commitment on behalf of the Department of Justice.”
Lynch’s visit comes four days after Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced criminal charges against six officers involved in Gray’s arrest and transport. He died April 19 — one week after suffering a spinal injury while in police custody.
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SOURCE: The Baltimore Sun | VIDEO CREDIT: NDN