Police have plan for reform, but Freddie Gray investigation continues
Request for Gray’s Investigative File Rejected
BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- A Baltimore police investigative file of Freddie Gray’s death was about to be sent to FOX45, but police say the Department of Justice stopped its release.
Freddie Gray died in April 2015. The six police officers charged in his arrest and death were cleared of any crimes by July 2016. A Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) was released in August 2016. The consent decree, outlining reform based on that investigation, was signed Thursday. The investigation into civil rights violations connected to Freddie Gray’s death continues.
Through the Maryland Public Information Act, FOX45 requested Freddie Gray’s investigative file from police in October. The BPD said that file would be released in mid-December. On January 11, FOX45 received an email from police saying in part:
“The Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, investigation into this matter remains open. As such, the Department of Justice has requested BPD withhold the contents of the file at this time. BPD’s position is release of the file against the request from the Department of Justice, would be contrary to the public interest.”
The DOJ did not give us an update on the investigation or when it would be complete. A spokesperson referred back to a previous statement sent in August:
“The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney's Office of the District of Maryland and the FBI’s Baltimore Division have been monitoring the state’s investigation and trials related to the death of Freddie Gray on April 19, 2015. We will continue our independent review of this matter, assess all available materials and determine what actions are appropriate, given the strict burdens and requirements imposed by applicable federal civil rights laws.”
The investigative file contains about 4,000 pages of information gathered by police into Gray’s death in the back of a police van.