19:52 GMT19 January 2021
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    US Attorney General Loretta Lynch received Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s request for a Civil Rights Division 'pattern or practice' investigation into the Baltimore Police Department, according to the statement of the US Justice Department (DOJ).

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Attorney General Loretta Lynch has received the Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s request for the US Justice Department (DOJ) to help with the investigation into the city’s police department, and is considering pursuing the investigation, the DOJ announced in a statement on Wednesday.

    “The Attorney General has received Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s request for a Civil Rights Division 'pattern or practice' investigation into the Baltimore Police Department. The Attorney General is actively considering that option in light of what she heard from law enforcement, city officials, and community, faith and youth leaders in Baltimore yesterday,” the DOJ statement read.

    Earlier on Wednesday, Baltimore’s mayor asked the DOJ to launch an investigation into the city’s police department to determine whether the agency is engaged in discriminatory policing, a day after Rawlings-Blake and Lynch met in Baltimore.

    The mayor’s announcement followed a week of riots and protests that swept through Baltimore after the funeral of 25-year-old African-American Freddie Gray who died nearly a week after he sustained spinal injuries while he was held in police custody.

    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.

    Gray’s death came after a string of mostly African-Americans killings at the hands of police over the past year, causing massive protests against police brutality and unaccountability throughout the United States.


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