(WASHINGTON) — The Baltimore Police Department engaged in a “pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Constitution and federal anti-discrimination law,” the Justice Department said Wednesday in announcing a reform agreement between the city and the federal government.
“These violations have deeply eroded the mutual trust between BPD and the community it serves, trust that is essential to effective policing, as well as officer and public safety,” Vanita Gupta, the head of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, said in announcing the deal.
The DOJ investigation was prompted by the death of Freddie Gray from injuries he sustained while in police custody in April of 2015.
The city has already begun overhauling the police department since Gray’s death, revising “26 key policies, including the department’s use of force,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.
“It’s so very important we get this right,” the mayor said at a joint news conference.
The agreement between the Justice Department and the city of Baltimore will be enforceable by a court order, DOJ’s Gupta said.
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