According to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Baltimore Police Department has engaged in a multi-year pattern of making unconstitutional stops, searches and seizures of residents and using disparate enforcement strategies that targeted African-Americans.
In a copy of the report summarizing the Justice Department’s findings, which was originally obtained by The New York Times, the department also concluded BPD has developed a pattern of using excessive force in policing and “retaliating against people engaging in constitutionally-protected expression.”
BPD officers recorded more than 300,000 pedestrian stops between January 2010 and May 2015 — likely a smaller number than the actual total that took place due to under-reporting, the report said. Among those, only 3.7% resulted in officers issuing citations or arrests, the report said. The investigators found most of the stops occurred in largely black neighborhoods and “often lack reasonable suspicion.”
For arrests made by BPD officers from 2010 through 2015, Central Booking supervisors and city prosecutors rejected more than 11,000 charges because they were not made with probably cause “or otherwise did not merit prosecution.”