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ACLU Applauds DOJ Announcement on Launching "Pattern or Practice" Investigation of Baltimore Police Department


Meredith Curtis, ACLU of Maryland, 443-310-9946, media@aclu-md.org


BALTIMORE - The announcement today by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that a civil pattern or practice investigation has been opened into the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) was lauded by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland. The DOJ said the investigation "will focus on BPD's use of force, including deadly force, and its stops, searches and arrests, as well as whether there is a pattern or practice of discriminatory policing." On Tuesday, ACLU Executive Director, Susan Goering, participated in one of the many meetings DOJ held with a wide variety of stakeholders in Baltimore; at that meeting Goering joined others publicly calling on DOJ to undertake a pattern or practice investigation. On Wednesday, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake also called for a pattern or practice investigation.

The following may be attributed to Susan Goering, Executive Director of the ACLU of Maryland:

"For more than a decade, the ACLU has litigated, advocated, and attempted to negotiate with the Baltimore Police Department to affect lasting, systemic change that would ensure residents who are Black and from disadvantaged neighborhoods are not abusively over-policed. We applaud the announcement of a DOJ Civil Rights Division pattern or practice investigation because it can go to the heart of police policies and practices that result in daily injustices, repeated instances of police brutality, and unconstitutional treatment of poor and minority people - patterns that crush people's souls.  The DOJ's investigation could ultimately be the impetus for the Baltimore Police Department to follow through on its promises to improve partnership, transparency, and communication between the police and the community in order to improve equality, fairness and public safety for all."

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