By Eyder Peralta
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has asked the Justice Department to open up a civil rights investigation into the city’s police department.
“Such an investigation is essential if we are to build on the foundation of reform,” she said during a news conference.
Over the past couple of weeks, Baltimore has seen near-daily protests over the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal spine injury in police custody. Those protests boiled over into a night of riots.
Rawlings-Blake said that while her administration has worked to reform a troubled police department, “it is clear more needs to be done.”
If the Justice Department decides to comply with Baltimore’s request, the investigation would look at the Baltimore Police Department’s patterns and practices of policing. It would look at whether police in the city have violated the civil rights of its residents.
A similar investigation into the Ferguson, Mo., police force concluded that officers in that city often used discriminatory policing practices against African Americans.