For Immediate Release
NAACP Applauds Dept. of Justice Decision to Investigate the Baltimore Police Force
United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced today that the U.S. Department of Justice will launch a pattern and practice investigation into the Baltimore Police Department. In light of this development, the NAACP has released the following statements.
From Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President and CEO:
“We at the NAACP applaud U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch for taking this important and necessary step of launching a pattern and practice investigation into the Baltimore Police Department. Immediately following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, the NAACP called on the Justice Department to conduct a pattern and practice investigation to ensure that the constitutional rights of Baltimore citizens were not being violated. As we continue to mourn Mr. Gray’s death, we must also begin to repair decades of mistrust between community members and law enforcement in the city. Our hope is that this comprehensive investigation will lead to sweepingly comprehensive reform. State and local NAACP leaders have been working closely with federal authorities and are heartened by this decision—this is good for not only Baltimore but the entire nation.”
From Gerald Stansbury, NAACP Maryland State Conference President:
“The Maryland State Conference strongly supports the decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to launch a pattern and practice investigation of the Baltimore Police Department. A comprehensive review of policing practices, particularly as it relates to racially profiling, the use of excessive force and deadly force, in the Baltimore City is sorely needed.”
From Tessa Hill-Aston, NAACP Baltimore Branch President:
“I commend the Department of Justice for launching this investigation. Members of the Baltimore City community has voiced concerns of racial profiling, excessive force and other forms of police misconduct for decades, as the NAACP has worked tirelessly with both local residents and police to change the tide. We hope that this investigation brings some resolution to the number of complaints expressed by Baltimore City residents and usher in an era of reform.”
Founded Feb. 12. 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots–based civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.