A Justice Department probe into the Baltimore Police Department found that police routinely violated the constitutional rights of residents by conducting unlawful stops and using excessive force. The practices overwhelmingly affected the city's black residents in low-income neighborhoods, according to the 163-page report.
August 10, 2016
The Justice Department report found racial disparities by police in stops and searches of citizens. The probe found that black residents were more likely to be stopped and searched as pedestrians and drivers even though police were more likely to find illegal guns, illicit drugs and other contraband on white residents.
The Justice Department report also found racial disparities in arrests, with black residents accounting for 86% of all charges (where race is known) even though black residents represent only 64% of Baltimore's population. Black residents were charged with one offense for every 1.4 residents while white residents were arrested with one offense for every 5.1 residents.
The Justice Department report found black residents were disproportionately arrested for drug possession. 89% of those arrested on drug charges were black, based on a sample of drug arrests between November 2010 and June 2015. Justice found that "BPD made 254 drug arrests for every 1,000 African-American Baltimore residents while making only 52 drug arrests per 1,000 residents of other races."