11 August 2016

The Report on the Baltimore Police is Out

And in news that surprise no one, the Baltimore PD is revealed to be a thoroughly racist organization:
As a black man and a lifelong resident of this city, Ray Kelly has been stopped by the police more times than he can count. And as a community organizer who tried to document police bias after the death of Freddie Gray, Mr. Kelly, 45, had always expected that a federal investigation would uncover a pattern of racial discrimination.

Even so, the scathing report that the Justice Department unveiled here on Wednesday — a data-rich indictment of how Baltimore police officers have for years violated the Constitution and federal law by systematically stopping, searching (in some cases strip-searching) and harassing black residents — gave him a jolt.

“Hearing the actual numbers, like on the traffic stops, is blowing my mind,” Mr. Kelly said.

Release of the 163-page report, at a packed City Hall news conference here, was another wrenching moment of self-examination in this majority black city. Even as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the police commissioner, Kevin Davis, accepted the findings — both vowed to turn the Baltimore Police Department into a ‘‘model for the nation’’ — there was relief, but also rage and skepticism among black residents here who wondered if anything would change.


In one stark statistic after another, the department’s report helped validate the experiences of Mr. Brown, Mr. Kelly and countless others in poor African-American neighborhoods who regard the police as an occupying force. Many wanted to know what took so long.


In Baltimore, a city that is 63 percent black, the Justice Department found that 91 percent of those arrested on discretionary offenses like “failure to obey” or “trespassing” were African-American. Blacks make up 60 percent of Baltimore’s drivers but account for 82 percent of traffic stops. Of the 410 pedestrians who were stopped at least 10 times in the five and a half years of data reviewed, 95 percent were black.
You can read the full report here.


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