BALTIMORE — Attorney General Loretta Lynch pledged today to improve the city’s police department after meeting with the family of a man who was fatally injured in police custody.
“We’re here to hold your hands and provide support,” Lynch said in a meeting with faith and community leaders, including members of Congress.
The new attorney general met privately at the University of Baltimore with Freddie Gray’s family, days after the state’s attorney charged six police officers involved in Gray’s arrest. Gray’s injury in police custody and death a week later sparked protests and riots that prompted Maryland’s governor to bring in the National Guard.
Lynch was joined by the head of the Civil Rights Division, Vanita Gupta, Office Of Community-Oriented Policing Services director Ronald Davis and community relations service director Grande Lum.
They are expected to visit City Hall and police headquarters. Lynch is also set to thank law enforcement officers for their service, long hours and protecting demonstrators.
The FBI and the Justice Department are investigating Gray’s death for potential civil rights violations. The Justice Department is expected to release results of a separate review of the police department’s use of force practices in the coming weeks.
Lynch met with representatives Elijah Cummings, John Sarbanes and Dutch Ruppersberger and senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin.
“Last week was very painful for the people of Baltimore,” Cardin told Lynch.
The attorney general told the group that it was inspiring to see people come together to reclaim the city.
“This is a flashpoint situation,” Lynch said. “We lost a young man’s life and it begins to represent so many things.”