Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement in response to Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh’s selection of Joel Fitzgerald as Baltimore’s next police commissioner:
“Mayor Pugh has now confirmed that Fort Worth police chief Joel Fitzgerald is her pick for Baltimore’s police commissioner. We urge the Mayor and City Council to open the confirmation process and allow city residents and stakeholders to meet with Police Commissioner-Designee Fitzgerald to determine if he meets the qualifications residents detailed in a letter to the Mayor in August.
“The incoming Baltimore Police Commissioner has a responsibility to build trust between officers and the residents they serve. The Commissioner should understand the need for quality community participation and prioritize conforming to the consent decree and improving public safety in the city. We look forward to participating in any public meetings with Fitzgerald in the coming weeks.”