Investigation of the Baltimore City Police Department U. S. Department of Justice Author
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Description

This report is presented as part of the outcome of the Department of Justice's investigation of the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD). After engaging in a thorough investigation, initiated at the request of the City of Baltimore and BPD, the Department of Justice concludes that there is reasonable cause to believe that BPD engages in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Constitution or federal law. BPD engages in a pattern or practice of: (1) making unconstitutional stops, searches, and arrests; (2) using enforcement strategies that produce severe and unjustified disparities in the rates of stops, searches and arrests of African Americans; (3) using excessive force; and (4) retaliating against people engaging in constitutionally-protected expression. This pattern or practice is driven by systemic deficiencies in BPD's policies, training, supervision, and accountability structures that fail to equip officers with the tools they need to police effectively and within the bounds of the federal law. We recognize the challenges faced by police officers in Baltimore and other communities around the country. Every day, police officers risk their lives to uphold the law and keep our communities safe. Investigatory stops, arrests, and force-including, at times, deadly force-are all necessary tools used by BPD officers to do their jobs and protect the safety of themselves and others. Providing policing services in many parts of Baltimore is particularly challenging, where officers regularly confront complex social problems rooted in poverty, racial segregation and deficient educational, employment and housing opportunities. Still, most BPD officers work hard to provide vital services to the community.

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