By Luke Broadwater, the Baltimore Sun

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake asked the Justice Department on Wednesday to conduct a full-scale civil rights investigation into the pattern and practices of the Baltimore Police Department — a probe that would examine excessive force, discriminatory harassment, false arrests, and unlawful stops, searches or arrests.

“We all know that Baltimore continues to have a fractured relationship between the police and the community,” Rawlings-Blake said. “I’m willing to do what it takes to reform my department.”

In the kind of inquiry Rawlings-Blake and the council are seeking, the Justice Department’s civil rights division examines whether officers have a history of discrimination or of using force beyond standard guidelines. Such investigations can lead to consent decrees and years of court monitoring.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake