University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
view search results
page permalink
Case Name DOJ Investigation of Baltimore Police Department PN-MD-0008
Docket / Court docket unknown ( No Court )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Policing
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
In May 2015, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) opened an investigation into the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) after Baltimore city officials and community members voiced concerns about possible unlawful police practices. On August 10, 2016, the DOJ released its findings. The DOJ ... read more >
In May 2015, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) opened an investigation into the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) after Baltimore city officials and community members voiced concerns about possible unlawful police practices. On August 10, 2016, the DOJ released its findings. The DOJ concluded that there was reasonable cause to believe that BPD engaged in patterns and practices that violated the First and Fourth Amendments and federal anti-discrimination laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Specifically, the DOJ noted BPD’s use of excessive force, retaliation, and unconstitutional stops, searches, and arrests. The DOJ also summarized how BPD’s policies and procedures disparately impacted African Americans. Additionally, the report highlighted how BPD infringed on individuals’ First Amendment right to free expression, engaged in gender-biased policing when investigating sexual assaults, and used unreasonable force against those with mental health disabilities in violation of the ADA. These problems developed from poor training, policies, supervision, and accountability measures.

In response to the DOJ’s findings, BPD and the City of Baltimore entered into an Agreement in Principle to work on creating a judicially-enforced consent decree that would help resolve the problems uncovered during the DOJ investigation. The Agreement in Principle outlined several key areas that the future consent decree should address, including: policies, training, data collection, and analysis; technology and infrastructure; officer support; and community policing strategies. The report emphasized the importance of rebuilding trust within the community and including Baltimore citizens in the reform process.

The matter is ongoing.

Amelia Huckins - 02/12/2017


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Excessive force
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Improper treatment of mentally ill suspects
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Language/ethnic/minority needs
Racial profiling
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Mental Disability
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 14141
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.
Defendant(s) Baltimore City Police Department
Plaintiff Description U.S. Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Links An Interactive Guide to the Civil Rights Division’s Police Reforms
https://www.justice.gov/
Written: Jan. 04, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program )
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  New York City to Pay Up to $75 Million Over Dismissed Summonses
New York Times
Written: Jan. 23, 2017
By: Benjamin Weiser (New York Times)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Panopticism for Police: Structural Reform Bargaining and Police Regulation by Data-Driven Surveillance
By: Mary D. Fan (University of Washington)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Civil Rights Division’s Pattern and Practice Police Reform Work: 1994-Present
https://www.justice.gov/
Written: Jan. 04, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Written: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Press Release 05/08/2016
PN-MD-0008-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Education Section
Agreement in Principle Between U.S. and City of Baltimore 08/09/2016
PN-MD-0008-0006.pdf | Detail
Press Release 08/10/2016
PN-MD-0008-0003.pdf | Detail
Press Release [Discussing Findings Letter from DOJ] 08/10/2016
PN-MD-0008-0004.pdf | Detail
Findings Letter from Department of Justice 08/10/2016
PN-MD-0008-0005.pdf | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0008-0006
Mygatt, Timothy D (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0008-0006
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0008-0006
Defendant's Lawyers Nilson, George A. (Maryland)
PN-MD-0008-0006
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
view search results
page permalink

- top of page -