Baltimore Unrest: Governor Pulls Troops, Lifts State of Emergency

National News
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan_8114449940236092432
(NBC News) Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday pulled 3,000 National Guard troops from Baltimore, ending a state of emergency he had imposed during rioting over the death of Freddie Gray.

“Together we have survived troubled times in Baltimore that we haven’t seen in a number of years,” Hogan said.

The withdrawal of troops followed Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s announcement that she would ask the Justice Department to investigate the city’s police department for patterns of civil rights violations, similar to the probe recently completed in Ferguson, Missouri.

Rawlings expressed hope that the process would help Baltimore rebuild trust between cops and the public following riots sparked by the death of 25-year-old man Freddie Gray.

“It is clear that I need to look for any and all resources I could bring to the city to get this right,” Rawlings-Blake said at a morning news conference.

Rawlings-Blake asked for the same type of review that the Justice Department conducted in Ferguson, where the shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer last August triggered waves of public unrest.

Baltimore’s request still has to be approved by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who visited the city Tuesday and met with Gray’s family, accompanied by the head of the civil rights division.

“This is a flashpoint situation,” Lynch said during a meeting with faith and community leaders, according to The Associated Press.

A Lynch spokeswoman said she was “actively considering” Baltimore’s request.

Rawlings-Blake said she had already spoken to Lynch about her request. “I do not believe they will delay an answer,” the mayor said.

The Justice Department is already conducting two separate inquiries involving the Baltimore Police Department: a voluntary review of its pattern of legal settlements with people alleging excessive force, and a civil rights probe of Gray’s death.

Six officers have been charged in that case. Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while riding in the back of a police van.

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