US Justice Dept. launches civil rights probe of Baltimore policing

May 8, 2015 17:33

The US Justice Department on Friday announced a federal civil rights investigation into the legality of the Baltimore's police department's use of force and whether there are "systemic violations" as well as any pattern of discriminatory policing.

The announcement came less than one month after the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man injured in police custody, sparked outrage in Maryland's largest city, although the department's wider investigation is not specifically tied to his individual case.

A Justice Department statement said the investigation will focus on use of force, including deadly force, by officers, as well as stops, searches and arrests.

"Ultimately, this process is meant to ensure that officers are being provided with the tools they need - including training, policy guidance and equipment - to be more effective, to partner with civilians, and to strengthen public safety," US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement.

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