Justice Department Confirms Culture Of Corruption Within Baltimore City Police Department

Baltimore City Police_ AP Images

The Department of Justice confirmed Baltimore police routinely violate civil rights, perform unlawful traffic stops, use excessive force, practice discriminatory policing, and retaliate against people who exercise free speech. The findings are scheduled to be made public Wednesday morning at 10:30 a.m.

The investigation was requested by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake following the death of Freddie Gray. Gray’s death sparked protests and riots as residents lashed out in frustration. The reports cites that the findings are not from isolated events but are in fact the culture within the BCPD.

In the scathing 164-page report, obtained by WJZ, the Justice Department finds the “BPD engaged in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the constitution or federal law”.

The report also indicates that officers demand sex in exchange for not arresting women. The reports reads,

Moreover, we found evidence that some BPD officers engage in criminal behavior that BPD does not sufficiently address. We heard complaints from the community that some officers target members of a vulnerable population—people involved in the sex trade—to coerce sexual favors from them in exchange for avoiding arrest, or for cash or narcotics. This conduct is not only criminal, it is an abuse of power. Unfortunately, we not only found evidence of this conduct in BPD’s internal affairs files, it appeared that the Department failed to adequately investigate allegations of such conduct, allowing it to recur.”

The BCPD have made several changes recently within their policing including the use of body cameras and a revision in their force policy.

“You cannot do effective crime fighting with a broken relationship between police and the community that they serve,” says NAACP President Tessa Hill-Alston.

For more on this developing story and to see the report obtained by WJZ, see here.


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