U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who represents Maryland’s 7th District, put his support behind a request by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Wednesday for a “pattern or practice” investigation of Baltimore City Police Wednesday in the wake of recent riots in the city.
“I strongly support the mayor’s request for a full Department of Justice ‘pattern or practice’ investigation into the Baltimore Police Department. When I spoke with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch last week, I urged her to consider a full civil rights investigation of the Baltimore Police Department,” Cummings said in a statement. “ While I still support ongoing DOJ efforts in Baltimore, including the collaborative review and the investigation into the circumstances of Freddie Gray’s death, believe that it is time for the civil rights division’s special litigation section to conduct a full and formal investigation into the BPD.”
The riots stemmed from the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died after receiving spinal cord injuries while in police custody.
“We must know whether there is a pattern or practice by the department that systemically violates people’s rights,” Cummings said. “Mr. Gray’s death is only the most recent case underscoring the need to examine our police department from top to bottom.”