BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), author of the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act (S. 2168), the End Racial Profiling Act (S. 1056) and the BALTIMORE Act (S. 1610, “Building And Lifting Trust In order to Multiply Opportunities and Racial Equality), issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) release of its pattern-or-practice investigation of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD).
“Today’s disturbing report from the U.S. Department of Justice provides a devastating account on how the Baltimore Police Department systematically violated the civil rights of the citizens they were sworn to protect. In particular, the report details a pattern of illegal searches, stops, arrests and use of excessive force that disproportionately impacted African-American communities in Baltimore.
“After the death of Freddie Gray in police custody last year, I joined with colleagues to ask DOJ to conduct this investigation into BPD. I am pleased that Baltimore City fully cooperated with this investigation, and share DOJ’s optimism that all parties can work together to design and implement a comprehensive set of remedies. I look forward to working closely with BPD and DOJ as we conduct community outreach over the next few months that will provide critical input into an ultimate court-enforceable consent decree and federal court order. I will work closely with our federal delegation and federal agency partners to make sure Baltimore has the resources it needs to carry out wide-ranging reforms. All our citizens deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
“We owe nothing less to the family of Freddie Gray than to have his tragic death provide the catalyst for an overhaul of BPD that rebuilds the trust between the police and the communities they serve. We owe the citizens of Baltimore who were denied justice and equal treatment under the law the opportunity to make BPD a model police force for the nation. We must ensure that BPD officers have the best possible training, equipment, and resources to carry out their sworn duties in a lawful manner that builds trust with communities they serve, and that officers are quickly held accountable for misconduct.”