clock menu more-arrow no yes

Justice Department report: Baltimore police target black people in racially biased stops

A mural for Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Baltimore Police Department engages in a pattern and practice of racial bias, disproportionately stopping black residents for minor crimes or even no crimes at all, according to a new report from the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

The New York Times, which leaked the DOJ’s report, reported on some of its findings:

To show how officers disproportionately stopped black pedestrians, the report cited the example of a black man in his mid-fifties who was stopped 30 times in less than four years. None of the stops led to a citation or criminal charge. Black residents, the report said, accounted for 95 percent of the 410 individuals stopped at least 10 times.

The report comes more than a year after Baltimore was engulfed in protests and riots over the fatal injury of Freddie Gray while in police custody. The DOJ launched a formal investigation into the Baltimore Police Department shortly after.

The DOJ investigation ultimately validates many of the concerns raised by protesters — specifically, that Baltimore police officers act in a racially biased way, often stopping black residents for frivolous reasons.

We’ll have more on this story as we get through the report. In the meantime, you can read the full report here:


Watch: Why recording the police is so important

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for The Weeds

Get our essential policy newsletter delivered Fridays.