US government report blasts Baltimore police over race
The US Justice Department has issued a damning report, accusing police in the city of Baltimore of routinely discriminating against African-Americans and using excessive force against juveniles and people with mental health disabilities.
An inquiry was ordered after the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray, an African-American man who suffered a fatal injury while in police custody.
The 25-year-old died after his neck was broken while he was handcuffed and shackled unrestrained in the back of a police van.
The Justice Department investigation, which covered data from 2010 to 2016, found black people had been disproportionately targeted by the Baltimore City Police Department.
The report also blamed Baltimore officials for failing to provide officers with sufficient policy guidance and to hold officers accountable for their misconduct.
“Change is painful. Growth is painful. But nothing is as painful as being stuck in a place that we do not belong,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said.
Davis added he would have no tolerance for officers who “choose to engage in racist, sexist, discriminatory or biased-based policing.”
He went on to claim that officers involved in the most egregious examples pointed out in the Justice Department investigation have already been removed from the job.
Gray’s death set off Baltimore’s worst protests and riots in decades and stoked a debate on what is known as the US police brutality against people of color, most particularly African-Americans.
The US police are accused of using excessive force against African-Americans. The deaths of unarmed black men and women over the past years have sparked protests nationwide under the banner called – Black Lives Matter.