It took the death of Freddie Gray to spark an investigation into the practices of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD). The investigation was not specifically on the Freddie Gray case but on the BPD’s practices in general. The results of the report revealed a harsh reality that Blacks have known and endured for many decades.
As we know, the charges were dropped for the 6 officers involved in Freddie Gray’s death. Here are some of the documented accounts listed below from the DOJ’s report and CNN’s news coverage:
The Department of Justice found Baltimore Police in violation of…
“You have all these new things that are happening but what is not new is the 4th amendment. And apparently, according to this report, the 4th amendment does not exist in Baltimore… training does not mean you have to learn something new, you have to actually adhere to the 4th amendment.”
Call to Action
The DOJ’s report only scratches the surface of patterns of discriminatory practices (view the full 163-page report HERE). While the spotlight is currently on Baltimore, the BPD’s practices are a microcosm of what’s happening across America. The deaths of unarmed Black men caught on video and shared through social media have ignited a movement. It has forced a national discussion on race, diversity and equity. In order to heal race relations between law enforcement and the Black communities they serve, we need to build trust.
How does the saying go? The first step to recovery is “admitting that there is a problem.” Well, now that we have done that... I ask that a similar report and investigation be conducted on all Police Departments across the nation. This level of transparency exposing the systemic racist practices and patterns of police departments needs to occur everywhere. In order to effect real change, an accountability system, which includes input from all stakeholders, needs to be implemented. Only then can we begin to heal racial relations and build trust.