– The Baltimore City Police Department will require its officers to wear body cameras before the end of 2015, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced during a news conference on Wednesday.
"Our [Baltimore police] department will have body cameras before the year’s end,” the mayor stated.
The Baltimore mayor’s announcement comes after charges were filed against six local police officers by the State’s Attorney over the illegal arrest of African-American Freddie Gray, who died nearly a week later of spinal cord injuries he sustained in a police van.
Last week, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) unveiled its $20 million police body camera program to hold local police accountable for their actions amid numerous high-profile cases of police brutality against African-Americans around the country over the past year.
Rawlings-Blake also announced during the news conference that the DOJ will launch an investigation into the city’s police department to determine whether the agency engaged in discriminatory policing. The announcement came a day after the newly sworn-in US Attorney General Loretta Lynch visited the city.
Gray’s death ignited violent riots across the city of Baltimore. On April 27, the rioters looted stores, injured 20 police officers, destroyed 15 buildings and set 144 cars on fire, causing Rawlings-Blake to impose a week-long citywide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.