Baltimore’s Plan to Reduce Police Brutality

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Baltimore seeks to reduce police brutality
A still from surveillance footage showing a Baltimore police officer assaulting a man on North Ave.

When an investigation by the Baltimore Sun revealed that the city had spent $11.5 million on more than 100 police brutality cases in the past four years, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts treated it like news. Oh well. At least they invited the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a civil rights investigation. And now they’ve released a 41-page report detailing their plan for curbing police violence and restoring the public trust.

Granted, some of the efforts mentioned were already in place before Sun article, but here’s their plan:

+ Body cameras.

+ More tasers.

+ Increasing internal affairs staff.

+ Greater authority given to Batts to punish officers. (Currently only an officer who is charged with a felony can be suspended without pay, and Batts’s ability to mete out punishments is trumped by an internal review board.)

+ A citizen’s police academy in which officers will learn how to de-escalate a situation.

+ An “early-warning system” for identifying potentially violent police.

+ Investigating ways to alert the public to incidents of police violence

+ A series of town hall meetings beginning next year.

Read more about the report in the Baltimore Sun.

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