This video from Maryland in the USA says about itself:
Full video: #FreddieGray Case Spurs Activism and Action in Baltimore Classrooms
18 May 2016
The Baltimore High School students that staged a mock trial for the Freddie Gray case discuss how the events of the past year have impacted their relationship with police, the legal system and the war on drugs.
A US Department of Justice (DoJ) report released Wednesday revealed that the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) has engaged in widespread violations of constitutional rights. These include unjustified stops and searches; arrests without proper cause; racial profiling; use of excessive force; sexual discrimination; and retaliation against actions protected by the First Amendment: here.
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This week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released its report on the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD) – and its findings are devastating.
The DOJ engaged in a nearly 14-month review of the BPD – an investigation requested by LDF, the City, and its residents. Among the findings were revealed a shocking array of potential civil rights violations:
• There were 300,000 pedestrian stops between 2010 and 2015 in Baltimore, which has a population of 650,000; 44% of stops are in two Black neighborhoods. Only 3.7% of stops resulted in citation or arrest.
• “BPD searched African Americans more frequently during… stops even though searches of African Americans were less likely to discover contraband.”
• On excessive force: “BPD officers fail to deescalate encounters… Officers frequently resort to physical force.” Officers use excessive physical force against juveniles and the mentally ill.
This report has confirmed what many African-American residents of Baltimore have known and lived too long.
Just this Sunday, before the report was released, I contributed an op-ed to the Baltimore Sun emphasizing the need for community groups to prepare to engage fully in the process of reform.
As a former resident of Baltimore City, I stand with those who are appalled by the DOJ’s findings – and I suspect the people of Baltimore will need a few days to absorb the information in this unsparing report. Then, it will be critical to begin the hard work of ensuring that this federal investigatory process yields real and lasting change in Baltimore. LDF is already working with the people of Baltimore, community leaders, the Department of Justice, the Baltimore Police Department, and other critical stakeholders to develop a reform agenda that leads to real and lasting change in Baltimore. We are committed to this vital work for the long haul.
With you in struggle,
Sherrilyn A. Ifill
President and Director-Counsel
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