Today, we announce the outcome of the Department of Justice’s investigation of the
Baltimore City Police Department (BPD).1 After engaging in a thorough investigation, initiated at the request of the City of Baltimore and BPD, the Department of Justice concludes that there is reasonable cause to believe that BPD engages in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Constitution or federal law. BPD engages in a pattern or practice of:
(1) making unconstitutional stops, searches, and arrests;
(2) using enforcement strategies that produce severe and unjustified disparities in the rates of stops, searches and arrests of African Americans;
(3) using excessive force; and
(4) retaliating against people engaging in constitutionally-protected expression.
This pattern or practice is driven by systemic deficiencies in BPD’s policies, training,
supervision, and accountability structures that fail to equip officers with the tools they need to police effectively and within the bounds of the federal law.