Justice Department lays out police reform in Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray's death

Source: AP
Source: AP

The Department of Justice announced Thursday wide-ranging reforms for the Baltimore Police Department. The announcement, made by outgoing U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, signaled the long-troubled police department's agreement to enter into a consent decree, mandating federal oversight of the department.

The consent decree is long and detailed. In 227 pages, it outlines reforms that include instructing police to use de-escalation tactics before resorting to violent force, instructs police to participate in implicit bias trainings and victim-centered practices for dealing with sexual assault cases. 

The decree also mandates that all vans used to transport people be equipped with functional video cameras, alluding to Freddie Gray, a black man who mysteriously had a severed spinal cord while being transported in a police van in 2015. Gray's death led to weeks of unrest in Baltimore.


In August, the Department of Justice released a report detailing how the department had systematically violated black residents' civil rights. It found, among other things, that police officers often stopped and searched black residents without probable cause. Officers were also found to blame rape victims who came forward to report their sexual assaults and used racial slurs.

"The agreement is designed to increase transparency, public oversight [and] accountability," Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said, according to NPR.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Jamilah King

Jamilah King is a senior staff writer at Mic. She was previously an editor at Colorlines.

MORE FROM

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.