The Slatest

Report: Justice Department Will Open Broad Investigation Into Baltimore City Police

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch appears before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Department of Justice will launch an investigation into the Baltimore City Police Department, the Washington Post reported on Thursday. The DOJ will seek to determine whether the city’s officers have engaged in a “pattern or practice” of excessive force. 

[Attorney General Loretta] Lynch’s announcement about the Justice Department’s probe—the latest in a string of municipalities that are being investigated by the federal government for civil rights violations—could come as early as Friday, according to two law enforcement officials.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment Thursday night.

The Post noted that Lynch’s remarks before a Senate subcommittee on Thursday touched on her agency’s possible role in Baltimore, which Lynch said “involves a core responsibility of the Department of Justice—not only to combat illegal conduct when it occurs but to help prevent the circumstances that give rise to it in the first place.”

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake wrote to Lynch earlier in the week, requesting a federal investigation into the city’s police department in the interest of “transparency, accountability, and greater community understanding.”