Read a PDF of our statement here.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) is pleased to learn the city’s Consent Decree monitoring team is reviewing a recent incident involving an arrest of two youth in Cherry Hill. We urge the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) to also investigate this incident.

Two years ago the City of Baltimore entered into a consent decree with the US Department of Justice after it was revealed that city police routinely violated residents’ civil rights. The consent decree and current BPD policy call for de-escalation techniques to be used “as soon as possible” and for police to “continually assess” how they can “slow down the situation . . . and achieve the most peaceful outcome.” Key to the enforcement of this decree is for Baltimore residents to know the requirements of the consent decree and what to do when they believe it may have been violated. “Of the thousands of people who viewed the video on Twitter, only one individual contacted the Consent Decree Monitoring team. While this tweet at the monitoring team was the impetus of the current situation coming under review,” said Monique Dixon, Director of State Advocacy and Senior Counsel of LDF, “it is important for residents of Baltimore to know that they have a voice and when they see something of concern, they can report it with the expectation that their concerns will be taken seriously. We are eager to learn the outcome of the review of the Cherry Hill incident by the monitoring team and BPD officials at or before the next court hearing regarding the consent decree scheduled for July 25, 2019.”

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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.

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