The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) submitted comments today on the Baltimore Police Department’s (BPD) 2019 Use of Force Draft Training Plan. In a letter to Kenneth Thompson, the court-appointed monitor of the consent decree between the BPD and the Department of Justice, LDF expressed significant concern “with the brevity and lack of detail” in the draft plan and offered several recommendations for strengthening the proposal. Among LDF’s recommendations are legal training in unbiased use of force practices, interactive and scenario-based training, and specialized use-of-force training for supervisors.
The city of Baltimore and the Justice Department signed a consent decree mandating comprehensive policing reforms in January of 2017, the result of a DOJ civil rights investigation into BPD that found a pattern of unconstitutional and discriminatory policing. The consent decree made use of force training a priority of the reform process.