Embattled Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Wednesday that she has asked the Justice Department to investigate whether the black-led minority-majority city police department is guilty of discrimination — against blacks.
“I’m asking the Department of Justice to investigate if our police department has engaged in a pattern or practice of stops, searches or arrests that violate the Fourth Amendment,” she said, according to The Hill.
“I am asking that they investigate what systemic challenges exist within our police department that can contribute to excessive force and discriminatory policing.”
The Democrat mayor, who participated in a task force on policing formed by President Obama in the aftermath of events last fall in Ferguson, Mo., came under fire last week after saying the city gave rioters “space to destroy,” a comment she later tried to back away from.
While calling for an investigation, which she said was “essential,” it appears that Rawlings-Blake has already reached a verdict, based on another controversial remark she made last week.
Speaking at an Al Sharpton’s National Action Network event in Baltimore, the mayor called for justice for Freddie Gray — a remark that betrayed any sense of justice for the six officers charged in Gray’s death, who are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“We will get justice for Freddie Gray,” Rawlings-Blake said. “If, with the nation watching, three black women at three different levels can’t get justice and healing for this community, you tell me where we’re going to get it in our country.”
(She was referring to herself, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.)
Lynch was in Baltimore on Tuesday, visiting the police department before meeting with community and church leaders.
The new attorney general thanked officers who were “on the front lines” during the unrest in the city, but said the Justice Department will look for ways to improve the Baltimore Police Department and did not rule out a full-scale civil rights investigation, according to The Baltimore Sun.
“We’re going to try to come up with solutions, real solutions for the city of Baltimore to improve this city,” she said. “That is our goal. That is our commitment. It is my commitment on behalf of the Department of Justice.”
Of course, it’s not helpful that Rawlings-Blake continues to throw police under the bus.
“Throughout my administration, we have taken a number of steps to change the culture and practices of the Baltimore Police Department,” she said Tuesday.
“Despite this progress, we all know that Baltimore continues to have a fractured relationship between the police and the community.”
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