Baltimore Brass Call on Feds to Probe Police

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surveillance video of a violent Baltimore arrest
A still from surveillance footage showing a Baltimore police officer assaulting a man on North Ave.

Baltimore’s mayor and police commissioner used a Friday afternoon announcement to invite federal authorities to review the police department’s practices, including the handling of police brutality cases. According to the Baltimore Sun, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said they were open to having the U.S. Department of Justice conduct a civil rights investigation of the police force.

Police officials indicated the willingness to be investigated is part of an effort to show transparency in the wake of the Sun’s massive investigation into the department’s handling of police brutality lawsuits. The newspaper found that the police department has paid out $5.7 million in brutality cases over the last three years to people that were mostly cleared of wrongdoing. “I didn’t break it, but I will fix it,” Batts said of the police force’s practices.

The announcement also came on the heels of a Thursday letter making a similar request from City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s Thursday to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

The Justice Department recently opened a civil rights investigation in Ferguson, Missouri, in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting.


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