Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has called upon the justice department to open a civil rights investigation into the Baltimore police department. The request comes on the heels of the indictments of six Baltimore police officers relating to the homicide of Freddie Gray. During a press conference Rawlings-Blake stated “Such an investigation is essential if we are to build on the foundation of reform that we have instituted over the last few years.”
Freddie Gray, according to Mosby, was killed as a result of willful neglect and brutality that resulted in a severed spinal cord. The murder of Freddie Gray sparked a number of local protests as well as continued the national dialogue about the treatment of blacks by local police departments.
A similar Department of Justice investigation was conducted following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and found patterns of discrimination against African Americans.
The investigative request comes the day after the newly approved Attorney General Loretta Lynch visited Baltimore and spoke with the mayor, police department and city council. “We are here to help you work through these struggles,” Lynch said. “To all of you on the front lines, I want to thank you. You really have become the face of law enforcement. ” Members of the council sent a letter to the attorney general requesting a full-scale investigation.
There is no timetable for a response from the Department of Justice.