University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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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


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Issues and Causes of Action
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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
Special Case Type
Out-of-court
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
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  New York City to Pay Up to $75 Million Over Dismissed Summonses
New York Times
Date: Jan 23, 2017
By: Benjamin Weiser (New York Times)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Civil Rights Division’s Pattern and Practice Police Reform Work: 1994-Present
https://www.justice.gov/
Date: Jan 4, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  An Interactive Guide to the Civil Rights Division’s Police Reforms
https://www.justice.gov/
Date: Jan 4, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

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

  Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
Date: 2014
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program )
Citation: 82 Fordham Law Review 3189 (2014)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Bravo v. Board of Commissioners of Dona Ana County
http://www.bazelon.org/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Fact Sheet
PN-MD-0008-0016.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date:
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Request for Monitor Application
PN-MD-0008-0017.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date:
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Press Release
PN-MD-0008-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/08/2016
Source: U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Education Section
Agreement in Principle Between U.S. and City of Baltimore
PN-MD-0008-0006.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 08/09/2016
Press Release
PN-MD-0008-0003.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 08/10/2016
Press Release [Discussing Findings Letter from DOJ]
PN-MD-0008-0004.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 08/10/2016
Findings Letter from Department of Justice
PN-MD-0008-0005.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 08/10/2016
Re: Investigation of the Baltimore Police Department
PN-MD-0008-0014.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 08/10/2016
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Executive Summary
PN-MD-0008-0015.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 08/10/2016
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PN-MD-0008-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/12/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Motion for Entry of Consent Decree [ECF# 2]
PN-MD-0008-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/12/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Law in Support of Joint Motion for Entry of Consent Decree [ECF# 2-1]
PN-MD-0008-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/12/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree [ECF# 2-2]
PN-MD-0008-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/12/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Oder Soliciting Public Comment, Setting a Public Fairness Hearing, and Establishing Related Procedures [ECF# 17] (D. Md.)
PN-MD-0008-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/15/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 39] (2017 WL 1301500) (D. Md.)
PN-MD-0008-0013.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/07/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Bredar, James Kelleher (D. Md.)
PN-MD-0008-0012 | PN-MD-0008-0013
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cheema, Puneet (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0008-0008 | PN-MD-0008-0009 | PN-MD-0008-0010 | PN-MD-0008-0011
Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0008-0006 | PN-MD-0008-0008 | PN-MD-0008-0009 | PN-MD-0008-0010 | PN-MD-0008-0011 | PN-MD-0008-0014
Johnston, Maureen (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0008-0008 | PN-MD-0008-0010 | PN-MD-0008-0011
Moossy, Robert J. (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0008-0008 | PN-MD-0008-0011
Mygatt, Timothy D (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0008-0006 | PN-MD-0008-0008 | PN-MD-0008-0009 | PN-MD-0008-0010 | PN-MD-0008-0011
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0008-0006 | PN-MD-0008-0008 | PN-MD-0008-0009 | PN-MD-0008-0010 | PN-MD-0008-0011
Songer, Michael J. (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0008-0008 | PN-MD-0008-0009 | PN-MD-0008-0010 | PN-MD-0008-0011
Wayne, Seth (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0008-0008 | PN-MD-0008-0009 | PN-MD-0008-0010 | PN-MD-0008-0011
Defendant's Lawyers Nilson, George A. (Maryland)
PN-MD-0008-0006
Ralph, David E. (Maryland)
PN-MD-0008-0009 | PN-MD-0008-0010 | PN-MD-0008-0011
Sangree, Suzanne (Maryland)
PN-MD-0008-0009 | PN-MD-0008-0010

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