At a press conference on Friday, new Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that the Department of Justice will open a federal investigation of Baltimore’s beleaguered police force. Earlier this week, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake asked for the DoJ to step in and probe the police department. Lynch told reporters at the news conference that “Rather than examining whether the police department violated good policies, we will examine if they violated the Constitution and the community’s civil rights.” The mysterious death of Freddy Gray while in police custody last month set off protests and sometimes violent unrest in Baltimore, which resulted in a weeklong curfew being put into effect and the National Guard providing security assistance. Six officers have been charged in the case. In a statement following the announcement, Rawling-Blakes said she is “pleased” that the Justice Department answered her call for a formal inquiry.
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