Law Offices of Elling & Elling
Call Us Now For A Free Consultation 301-637-0281 866-470-5187

Civil rights violations subject of Department of Justice probe

After the death of Freddie Gray, the Department of Justice began a probe into the city of Baltimore, Maryland. This probe was recently released and shows that the police department in that city routinely violated citizens' rights. Those violations, which included conducting unlawful stops, are a point that some defendants might be able to use in their defense strategies.

An interesting finding of the probe was that white citizens were more likely to have contraband like drugs and illegal guns when searched during pedestrian or traffic stops, yet black residents were stopped and then searched with more frequency.

Police officers were also instructed to follow discriminatory directive, such as the instruction to arrest "all the black hoodies" in certain neighborhoods. This is on top of the police focusing their efforts on residents who were low-income and minorities.

This probe, which culminated in a 163-page report, shows that black residents are more likely to come under the scrutiny of the police department. The police involvement with this particular minority is disproportionate when you consider the demographics of the area.

Part of the problem was blamed on the aggressive policing tactics that became commonplace in the 1990s. The police department's leaders have said they are against this "zero tolerance" policy of policing; however, the report shows otherwise.

Looking at the numbers cited in the study is troubling. Seven black men were stopped more than 30 times each from January of 2010 through May 2015. Two African-American districts that account for only 11 percent of the city's population were the location of around 44 percent of the more than 300,000 pedestrian stops during that period.

No matter how it's viewed, this report shows the struggle that citizens have when they are trying to have their civil rights respected. Civil rights violations, such as illegal stops, are a huge problem that can sometimes transfer over to the criminal justice system. Exploring the circumstances of your stop, arrest and questioning by police might bring up points that prove useful in your defense.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Justice Department report: Baltimore police routinely violated civil rights," Del Quentin Wilber and Kevin Rector, Aug. 09, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact Us Today

If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation with either of our lawyers, we welcome you to contact us online or to call us toll free at 866-470-5187 or locally in our Gaithersburg office at 301-637-0281.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Location

443 N. Frederick Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD 20877

Toll Free: 866-470-5187
Phone: 301-637-0281
Fax: 301-921-9327
Map & Directions

Free Consultations