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Improving police and community relations in Baltimore

Posted at 11:14 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 23:18:10-05

BALTIMORE — Right now there's a push to improve police and community relations in Baltimore.

The City and Department of Justice entered into the agreement back in April 2017, called a consent decree.

Federal officials learned officers violated the constitution for decades through its policing, most notably, through the Gun Trace Task Force Scandal. Now, the Department is working to reform itself.

“Everything needed to be improved on.”

A room full of people gathered in West Baltimore with questions. Their concerns dating back to before the riots and uprising that started after Freddie Gray died from an arrest around the corner in Gilmor Homes.

“This is about building trust that’s been diminished for 50 years. The initial step in the trust building process is relationship building,” said Ray Kelly Consent Decree Monitoring team.

Hope Crosby said she will always remember the way police treated her and her family when she watched her nephew take his last breaths following a shooting in 2016.

“I’m a nurse let me go see if I can help him and I’m told get the f back than I’m put in handcuffs, my nephew is arrested," Crosby explained. "It’s just the way when police come on the scene, I understand they have to secure the scene but how you talk to the victims of the families is terrible and I believe they need to be trained on that.”

A community policing plan was just released, focusing on training all officers to serve as community officers. The heads of departments will oversee the progress of connections built, offering incentives to officers who form good community interaction.

Crosby realizes police have a job to do, her issue is with the way they do it in her community.

"When your child is laying in the street bleeding and hurt you don’t worry about none of that," she said. "You just want make sure your child gets the help and know that you’re there."

Leroy Wilson said people need to hold themselves accountable for the senseless crime. He also recognizes that a lack of trust in police makes it harder to clean up the streets and build a community everyone wants.

“It’s not an easy solution, it didn’t get this way easy," Wilson said. "We have to be honest, sometimes the truth hurts, but once you get past the pain then you can start dealing with solutions.”