BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More pressure on the U.S. attorney general to launch a full review of the Baltimore Police Department after numerous cases of police brutality. Now Maryland senators and members of Congress have also sent a letter supporting the review.
Rochelle Ritchie has more.READ MORE: Maryland Dept. Of Health Website Operational After Cyberattack
In the letter written by two senators and three members of Congress, they call the recent incidents of excessive force at the hands of Baltimore City police officers unacceptable.
In a letter to the attorney general, members of Congress and state senators call the recent incidents of police misconduct in Baltimore City disturbing and are backing city leaders in their request for a review by the Department of Justice.
“I’m outraged. Clearly, when you wear a badge you have certain responsibility, you have power. But you also have responsibility. I’m outraged to see the way they were handled,” said Senator Ben Cardin, (D) Maryland.
Sen. Cardin is one signature on the letter to the Department of Justice, who says the recent images of police hitting citizens with batons and their fists sends the wrong message to the community.
The mayor and police commissioner are making a commitment to turning the department around in their “Preventing Harm” reform released this week.READ MORE: Pending Regulatory Approval, Sportsbook At Horseshoe Casino Could Open Friday
“This isn’t fluff, this isn’t child’s play, this is not toying around. These are hard hitting recommendations we have been working on with a road map to the future,” said Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.
The reform includes increasing the staff responsible for handling serious allegations of misconduct by a minimum of 12 detectives, providing the police commissioner with more decision-making in discipline of his officers and establishing penalties for officers who use or witness force used and fail to report it.
“If I am going to turn around an organization, I have to have accountability for all conduct. I have to have accountability for all discipline within the organization,” Batts said.
Senator Cardin says while the vast majority of officers act within the law, the few bad apples plant a seed of mistrust in the community.
“You need to have the public confidence that the police department is treating its citizens fairly, and that is being questioned,” said Sen. Cardin.
WJZ has reached out to the Department of Justice to see if they will conduct a review. They have not given us an answer yet.
Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congress members Elijah Cummings, Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes are also named in the letter to the Department of Justice.MORE NEWS: Man Accused Of Killing Evelyn Player Was Working In Her Church, Attorney Says; Will Plead Not Criminally Responsible
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