BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Department of Justice will investigate the practices of the Baltimore Police Department following the death of Freddie Gray.
Derek Valcourt explains what happens now.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Rain Stopping, Alert Day On Saturday
The mayor and several other city leaders pleaded for this to happen. Friday, the attorney general said after visiting Baltimore it was clear the city needed it.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced her decision Friday morning.
“Today, the Department of Justice is opening an investigation into whether the Baltimore Police Department has engaged in a pattern or practice of violations of the constitution or federal law,” she said.
That investigation will closely examine city police data and policies to determine if Baltimore police have violated citizens’ civil rights–either through use of excessive force, discriminatory policing or improper stops, searches and arrests.READ MORE: Friends And Family Hold Candlelight Vigil For Slain Baltimore Teen
The announcement comes just days after Lynch met face-to-face with city leaders and the mayor, who, with a letter, formally requested a federal investigation into the entire police department.
Justice officials had already worked collaboratively with police for six months to review and reform the department’s practices and policies–work Lynch called significant.
“But despite the progress being made, it was clear that recent events, including the tragic in-custody death of Mr. Freddie Gray, had given rise to a serious erosion of public trust,” said Lynch.
The Justice Department will issue a report after their investigation–and if violations are found, they will seek a court enforceable agreement to address those problems.
The new investigation comes in addition to the already ongoing federal investigation into whether six police officers violated 25-year-old Freddie Gray’s constitutional rights.MORE NEWS: Baltimore Police Unveil “SMART” Crime Strategy As Violence Surges; Hogan Weighs In
The Department of Justice has conducted similar civil rights investigations into police departments in Ferguson, Cleveland and New Orleans. No timetable has been set for their investigation to be completed.