BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The new U.S. attorney general launches a pattern or practice investigation into the methods of the Baltimore Police Department. The decision comes weeks after the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.

Mike Hellgren with reaction to the announcement.

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We’re hearing widespread support for what the U.S. attorney general had to say and the Department of Justice investigation, but the Fraternal Order of Police says the feds need to look at the mayor, too.

The sweeping new Department of Justice investigation into Baltimore City police drew praise from representatives of Freddie Gray’s family, who say it’s overdue.

“Relationships between the citizens and the officers are fractured–severed, is what Loretta Lynch called it. We pray that this begins the healing process,” said Rev. Jamal Bryant.

It comes after years of high-profile troubles in the department, including millions paid to settle excessive force claims.

“A number of police officers have come up to me and said, ‘Cummings, thank you for requesting the patterns or practice investigation…’ Because, they don’t feel that we can get to the bottom line of things that have been going on for years without having an outside entity like the Department of Justice,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, (D) Baltimore.

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The governor declined comment and the mayor declined a request for an interview, issuing a statement, touting reforms already underway.

Meanwhile, the police union called for a federal investigation into the mayor herself.

“That’s a rather odd statement–to investigate the mayor. It would seem to me that the FOP would have an interest in building harmony instead of sowing the seeds of discord even further,” said Billy Murphy, Gray family attorney.

Many in West Baltimore wonder why this investigation did not happen before now. Ronald Ward grew up in Gray’s neighborhood.

“They’re officer friendly. We greeted the police officers when I was a child growing up. Now, when people see police officers as they’re growing up, they’re taught to flee and run,” Ward said.

The ACLU has long pushed for a federal police review.

“It is all too easy to neglect these issues and let them fall by the wayside,” said David Rocah, ACLU.

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The Department of Justice has investigated 61 police agencies over the past 20 years.