Key Findings of DOJ Report on Baltimore Police

Read the Summary of Findings from the 162 page report issued August 10, 2016 by the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. The report documented extensive racial-based policing practices and impact validating claims and expectations of the African American community but angering the police community and others as being unduly inflammatory stoking hostile reactions against the police. See the full report at

The criticism is summarized in an article in The National Review, August 11, 2016, states: “As long as police are vilified, more black lives will be lost in high-crime.”

The findings:

  1. BPD Engages in a Pattern or Practice of Conduct that Violates the United States Constitution and Laws, and Conduct that Raises Serious Concerns including Unconstitutional Stops, Searches, and Arrests.
  2. BPD’s Unconstitutional Stops, Searches, and Arrests Result from a Longstanding Practice of Overly Aggressive Street Enforcement with Deficient Oversight and Policy Guidance.
  3. BPD Discriminates Against African Americans in its Enforcement Activities.
  4. BPD’s Enforcement Activities Disproportionately Impact African Americans Suggesting Intentional Discrimination and Exacerbating Community Distrust
  5. BPD Uses Unreasonable Force Resulting From Overly Aggressive Tactics That Unnecessarily Escalate Encounters and Result in Excessive Force
  6. BPD Uses Unreasonable Force Against Individuals with a Mental Health Disability and Those in Crisis and Fails to Make Reasonable Modifications When Interacting with Individuals with Mental Health Disabilities
  7. BPD Uses Unreasonable Force Against Juveniles And Ignores Widely Accepted Strategies For Police Interactions With Youth.
  8. BPD Uses Unreasonable Force Against People Who Are Not a Threat to Officers or the Public
  9. BPD’s Deficient Policies, Training, Crisis Intervention Program, and Lack of Oversight Underlie The Pattern Or Practice Of Excessive Force and Violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act
  10. BPD’s Transport Practices Create a Significant Risk of Harm
  11. BPD Unlawfully Restricts Protected Speech by Detaining and Arresting Members of the Public for Protected Speech
  12. BPD Retaliates by Using Force Against Individuals Who Engage in Protected Speech
  13. BPD’s Handling of Sexual Assault Investigations Raises Serious Concerns of Gender-Biased Policing Including Gender Bias in BPD’s Response to Sexual Assault
  14. BPD Fails to Adequately Investigate Reports of Sexual Assault
  15. Systemic Deficiencies in BPD’s Practices Contribute to Constitutional Violations, Erode Community Trust, and Inhibit Effective Policing
  16. BPD Fails to Adequately Supervise Its Officers’ Enforcement Activities.
  17. BPD Does Not Provide Adequate Policy Guidance and Training to its Officers.
  18. BPD Does Not Adequately Supervise Officers or Collect and Analyze Data on their Activities
  19. BPD Fails to Adequately Support its Officers
  20. BPD Fails to Hold Officers Accountable for Misconduct
  21. BPD Lacks Adequate Systems to Investigate Complaints and Impose Discipline
  22. BPD’s Internal Culture is Resistant to Effective Discipline.
  23. BPD Does Not Coordinate with Other Agencies Appropriately
  24. The Relationship Between the Police and the Community in Baltimore Is Broken
  25. BPD Fails to Engage in Effective Community Policing or Implement Community Policing Principles
  26. BPD Recognizes that It Must Improve Its Relationship with the Communities It Serves, But Much Work Remains

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