Monique Dixon, Deputy Director of Policy for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement in response to Joel Fitzgerald withdrawing from consideration as Baltimore Police commissioner:

“Dr. Fitzgerald’s withdrawal is in the best interest of Baltimore City, which is in need of a police commissioner with a proven track record of advancing effective public safety strategies in a manner that protects and respects the civil rights of residents and ensures officer accountability for misconduct. The Pugh administration should present a list of candidates who meet these basic requirements to Baltimore City Council members and the public. Baltimore residents should have an opportunity to vet these candidates through public meetings prior to the confirmation of a finalist.”

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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.