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Sun Investigation: Undue Force

Baltimore City has paid about $5.7 million since 2011 over lawsuits claiming that police officers brazenly beat up alleged suspects. One hidden cost: The perception that officers are violent can poison the relationship between residents and police.

Brutality lawsuits continue in Baltimore, site of Freddie Gray death

The city of Baltimore — which is investigating whether police misconduct played a part in Freddie Gray's death — continues to pay out tens of thousands of dollars in settlements for lawsuits alleging brutality.

Justice Department will hold community meeting on Baltimore police

The U.S. Department of Justice will hold a town hall meeting on Thursday to hear residents concerns about the Baltimore Police Department.

Baltimore leaders call for change following investigation into alleged police brutality

Baltimore lawmakers and community activists called Sunday for more reforms and federal oversight of the city's police department after learning about broken bones and battered faces from police brutality in recent years.

Officials call for tougher penalties for police brutality

State and local politicians continued the call Monday for greater scrutiny of Baltimore police officers who are the focus of brutality allegations, urging tougher penalties for offenders and greater disclosure of internal discpline.

Justice Department to probe allegations of police misconduct in Baltimore

Citing "disturbing reports of police misconduct," City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young asked Department of Justice today to conduct a full review of the Baltimore Police Department's polices, procedures and practices. Baltimore police brutality

Federal probes of police often bring changes

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating allegations of brutality and misconduct at Baltimore's police department, the type of probe that has triggered wide-ranging reforms in other cities across the nation.

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Some Baltimore police officers face repeated misconduct lawsuits

Some Baltimore police officers have faced multiple lawsuits, forcing the city to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars on court judgments and settlements, a six-month Baltimore Sun investigation has found. The investigation — based on thousands of pages of court documents and dozens of interviews — revealed that police leaders, city attorneys and other top officials were not keeping track of officers who repeatedly faced lawsuits with allegations of brutality. The total cost to

Baltimore officials offer plan to curb police brutality

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony Batts released a 41-page report Tuesday morning outlining their sweeping plans to reduce police brutality.

Federal review of Baltimore police brutality to be 'candid,' official says

A U.S. Department of Justice official promised Wednesday that his agency's investigation of police brutality in Baltimore would be a "candid" assessment, and federal lawmakers threw their support behind the probe.

City withholds part of settlement in police brutality lawsuit

In a case triggered by Internet comments, Baltimore officials have withhold $31,500 due in a settlement to a woman who sued alleging police brutality. City lawyers said that they were simply holding Ashley Overbey

Federal review of Las Vegas police sheds light on Baltimore probe

More than 140 people were killed by Las Vegas police in shootings since 1990, and the Justice Department intervened in January 2012 to address the issue — just as it is doing in Baltimore over allegations of police brutality.

Baltimore settlements on police brutality more restrictive than in other cities

When Baltimore residents settle lawsuits alleging police brutality or other misconduct, they must promise to keep silent about the incidents that sparked the suits — an arrangement that shields key details from the public. The penalty for disobeying: Lawyers for the city may try to recoup tens of thousands of dollars from the settlement. But many other cities — including Washington, Philadelphia and Las Vegas — have rejected the use of such confidentiality clauses, in an effort

Baltimore police chief's announcement about Obama panel surprises U.S. official

Amid nationwide protests for more police accountability, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts announced Tuesday that he had been named to President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing. But the announcement surprised U.S Department of Justice officials, who said Batts is not on the task force.

Chicago-based firm to lead federal review of Baltimore police

A Chicago-based security and risk management firm has been tapped by federal officials to lead the review of Baltimore's police force — a probe that comes amid allegations of brutality in that department and other around the nation. Comsultants from Hillard Heintze,including former police officials from around the nation, expect to be in Baltimore by the end of January to begin the review that is being coordinated by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Showdown looms over law protecting police in misconduct cases

As the Maryland General Assembly prepares for its 2015 session, a showdown is looming over efforts to limit legal protections for police officers accused of brutality and other misconduct.

Baltimore officer is suspended after video of beating is released

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts on Tuesday suspended the officer caught on tape beating a suspect, while local leaders asked why it took the department more than two months to pull him off the streets.

Baltimore police should revamp misconduct probes, audit says

Even as the Baltimore Police Department faces criticism over its handling of an officer caught on video punching a suspect, an outside audit of the Internal Affairs Division raises alarming questions on how well the agency investigates officers accused of misconduct.

Baltimore police union critical of upcoming federal probe

While the Department of Justice prepares to investigate the Baltimore Police Department, leaders of the city's police union say the scrutiny could lead to unsafe streets as officers fear the outside scrutiny.

Baltimore civil rights leaders call for tougher federal probe of police

Although Baltimore's mayor and police commissioner have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to review allegations of brutality in the city's police department, some civic leaders called Thursday for a more far-reaching — and hard-hitting — federal investigation.

Prosecutor probes Baltimore detective's account of punching

Baltimore police detective Michael McSpadden is being investigated by the city prosecutor's office after The Baltimore Sun publicized a video contradicting his account about punching a suspect.

Community leaders question transparency of Baltimore police probe

As officials prepare to announce details Monday on a federal probe of the city police department, some community leaders are raising questions about the relationship between the police commissioner and a key Department of Justice official.

U.S. Dept. of Justice reveals plans to review Baltimore Police Dept.

After years of alleged police brutality, the U.S. Department of Justice revealed plans Monday to investigate the Baltimore Police Department.

Review of Baltimore police won't change culture overnight, official says

The Department of Justice official in charge of the review of the Baltimore Police Department cautioned that the review is not an "overnight venture" and will take time to change an internal culture that has led to widespread distrust among residents.

Baltimore to create online database of police brutality lawsuits

Baltimore officials will begin this week posting the outcomes of all civil lawsuits alleging police brutality and will reconsider their policy of requiring plaintiffs to kept silent after settlements are reached — part of a series of changes made in response to a six-month Baltimore Sun investigation of police misconduct.

Baltimore residents demand tougher laws on police officers at hearing

With the next legislative session starting in January, more than 100 community members demanded that state lawmakers toughen laws that would hold police officers more accountable when they commit misconduct.

Federal review of Philadelphia police could hold lesson for Baltimore

Eleven months after the Justice Department intervened to help curb abuses in Philadelphia, the city has a list of recommendations that federal officials and outside consultants developed following interviews with community members, officers and public officials. It offers clues about Baltimore's review, which is in its early stages.

Maryland family challenges state cap on damage awards

In a case closely watched by localities across the state, the family of a Prince George's County man killed by a police officer asked Maryland's highest court on Monday to strike down a law that caps the amount of money people can receive by suing a government employee.

Baltimore mayor seeks more federal aid to combat police misconduct

As the calls persist for greater police accountability across the nation, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told a White House panel Tuesday that the city needs money for increased training and body cameras, and to add supervisors to the office that investigates misconduct.

Baltimore posting outcomes of police misconduct lawsuits

After a two-month delay, Mayor Stephanie-Rawlings Blake has kept a pledge to post online the outcomes of all civil lawsuits alleging police brutality and other misconduct.

Baltimore mayor pushes to toughen state law on police misconduct

As Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake presses for state legislation that would allow police leaders to get lawbreaking officers off the street faster, Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said Wednesday that he won't get involved in a General Assembly battle.

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