Advertisement
Politics

Rawlings-Blake to testify in D.C. about policing in Baltimore

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake plans to testify Tuesday afternoon at the first public listening session of President Barack Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing to discuss "building trust and legitimacy between police and the communities they serve," her staff said.

Rawlings-Blake intends to testify along with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Advertisement

The mayor plans to press specifically for additional funding for police body cameras, better police training and support for reforming internal affairs divisions, according to her spokesman, Kevin Harris.

Rawlings-Blake met with about 20 Baltimore residents Monday morning to discuss her testimony.

Advertisement

Inez Robb, of the Western Police District's Community Affairs Council, one of the residents who met with the mayor, said she wants to see better communication between police and the community.

"Communications is one of the big concerns the communties have," Robb said.

Maryland Policy & Politics

Maryland Policy & Politics

Weekly

Keep up to date with Maryland politics, elections and important decisions made by federal, state and local government officials.

The strained relationship between police and the public in some communities has gained widespread attention after the fatal shooting of an unarmed teen in Ferguson, Mo.

In December, Obama established the Task Force on 21st Century Policing to identify ways to strengthen the relationship between local law enforcement and communities. Obama proposed spending $263 million over three years to bolster community policing across the country, including $75 million to help purchase 50,000 body cameras.

Last year, Baltimore police invited a U.S. Justice Department review amid a report in The Baltimore Sun detailing how the city has paid $5.7 million in court judgments and settlements in 102 civil suits alleging police brutality since 2011.

The Sun found that some Baltimore officers were involved in multiple lawsuits, and there were significant gaps in the system used to monitor misconduct in the Police Department.

Rawlings-Blake says she and police commissioner Anthony W. Batts have undertaken a broad reform and, as a result, complaints against officers have fallen sharply along with a drop in crime.

lbroadwater@baltsun.com

Advertisement

Twitter.com/lukebroadwater


Advertisement