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Clarence M. Mitchell IV

Soul-searching in Baltimore over racial underpinnings to police problems

One vexing challenge underlies and overrides nearly everything in the Justice Department's 163-page report on the failings of the Baltimore Police Department: race.

Justice officials found that police used excessive force and unlawfully stopped hundreds of thousands of drivers and pedestrians without cause — and that African-Americans bore the brunt of this.

Through both statistics and the personal stories of police abuse, the report provoked soul-searching on Wednesday as Baltimoreans tried to wrap their heads around this troubling portrait of their city.

"It's about structural racism," said Diane Bell-McKoy, president and CEO of Associated Black...