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A day after Baltimore’s mayor called for a federal probe of the city’s police, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday it would investigate whether the department engaged in a pattern of unconstitutional policing, according to The New York Times.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch made the statement Thursday after testifying on Capitol Hill about the DOJ budget and the national crisis in policing. Lynch, who has been on the job for a week, announced the probe after visiting the embattled city earlier this week.

Her decision also follows a call by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for a federal probe and after State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby last week filed criminal charges against six officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray, who died last month after being injured in police custody.

Gray’s death sparked ongoing and sometimes violent protests in Baltimore and reignited national outrage over police violence and tactics in Black communities.

From The New York Times:

“The situation in Baltimore involves a core responsibility of the Department of Justice — not only to combat illegal conduct when it occurs, but to help prevent the circumstances that give rise to it in the first place,” Ms. Lynch said on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

There was no immediate reaction from Ms. Rawlings-Blake. Earlier Thursday, the mayor convened business, religious and philanthropic leaders at the intersection of West North and Pennsylvania Avenues, near a CVS store that was looted and burned in last week’s riots, to announce a public-private partnership to improve areas devastated by the unrest. She called it a “once-in-a-generation effort to tackle inequality.”

Ms. Lynch, who took office a week after Mr. Gray died, was in Baltimore this week to meet with community, religious and political leaders about whether to conduct a “pattern or practice” review, which would look into whether police officers used excessive force, carried out street stops based on race or arrested people without probable cause.

We’ll keep you updated on the latest from Baltimore.



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Department Of Justice To Investigate Baltimore Police Practices  was originally published on