Baltimore will soon be the first national police force that Obama promised and Al Sharpton has been promoting.
On Friday, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, announced that the Justice Department will be accepting the invitation of Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlins-Blake to come into the city to examine whether officers commonly use excessive force and violate residents’ constitutional rights.
The Baltimore Sun reported that a wide-ranging investigation announced Friday puts federal authorities in charge of three probes into Baltimore police. The new “pattern or practice” investigation will be added to the collaborative review that began last fall to help curb abuses, and a more recent civil rights probe into the death of Freddie Gray, who was injured while in police custody.
Such broad investigations — like the one announced by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch for Baltimore — are designed to examine whether police departments have a history of discrimination or of using force beyond standard guidelines, and can lead to years of court monitoring.
In the coming months, federal investigators will team with law enforcement experts to pore over hundreds of documents, analyzing the methods used by Baltimore officers. Justice Department officials will gather information from community members, interview officers and other local authorities, and observe officers’ work, but they will not assess individual cases for potential criminal violations, the agency said.
“This investigation will begin immediately,” Lynch said. “Our goal is to work with the community, public officials and law enforcement alike to create a stronger, better Baltimore.”
Lynch said it became apparent to federal authorities that the collaborative review would not work because it requires engagement from police, elected leaders and the community. The community’s “rather frayed trust” with police made the review ineffective, she said.
The community’s mistrust of the police didn’t develop overnight, and it will take time to mend the relationship, Lynch said. “We have watched as Baltimore has struggled with issues that face cities across our country today,” she said.
By Lynch saying, “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 is insinuating they are responsible for the conditions in Baltimore, she has further incited hostility.
This is another move for Baltimore to be the first national police force that Obama has been promoting.advertisement - story continues below
Is Obama planning to have a Civilian Security Force in addition to the military?
“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” 2008
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