Justice Department opens civil rights investigation into Baltimore police

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WASHINGTON (CNN) — The Justice Department has opened a civil rights pattern or practice investigation into the Baltimore Police Department in the wake of the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Friday during a press conference.

“The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has conducted dozens of these pattern or practice investigations, and we have seen from our work in jurisdictions across the country that communities that have gone through this process are experiencing improved policing practices and increased trust between the police and the community,” Lynch said.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake had requested the investigation into the city’s police department, similar to the probe conducted in Ferguson, Missouri after the shooting death of Michael Brown last summer, earlier this week when Lynch was in town.

Gray suffered a fatal injury to his spine while in police custody under unclear circumstances. Six officers have been arrested and face charges, ranging from false imprisonment to murder.

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