BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today called on local leaders and residents to remain resolved and focused on advancing necessary civil rights and criminal justice reforms city-wide, while applauding the significant progress that has been made so far to rebuild lives, businesses and communities damaged by the unrest that followed the death of Freddie Gray.
“Two years after the death of Freddie Gray, we have not yet managed to fully restore trust between police and our communities. And we must do so, if we are to have the type of Baltimore we want, and the city we know that Baltimore can be. The ongoing criminal justice reforms provided through the Consent Decree and complementary efforts by the Baltimore Police Department and U.S. Department of Justice are fundamental to continued progress. I remain committed to effectively implementing the decree, but it must not be the only front on which we continue to work. We must also continue to make gains in our efforts to restore communities by improving housing and schools, and by increasing access to green space, healthy food options and quality, affordable healthcare. We must continue to work to ensure that local residents have good jobs and job training programs, expansive and effective public transportation options, and comprehensive social services available to all Baltimoreans who need them, including returning citizens. We must continue working to ensure that everyone’s human and civil rights are respected and protected, and our city is one of equality. We must keep finding ways to be better friends, neighbors and community members. In short, we must make certain to create the lasting conditions for Baltimore to continually be the city of opportunity it historically has been.
“In the near future, I will be introducing newly expanded legislation that contains many of the critical reforms included in my End Racial and Religious Profiling Act and BALTIMORE Act, both of which are designed to reinforce all Americans’ civil liberties and promote the best practices in policing. The steps forward that would be enabled by this legislation remain vitally necessary both in Baltimore and nationwide, and I look forward to working closely with the citizens and leaders of my home town to make them possible.”