Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake prepares to speak at a media availability at City Hall, on May 1, 2015 in Baltimore.
Alex Brandon—AP
Updated: May 6, 2015 12:41 PM ET | Originally published: May 6, 2015 11:39 AM EDT

Baltimore officials have asked the United States Department of Justice to investigate the city’s policing practices following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced at a press conference Wednesday.

“We have to have a foundation of trust,” Rawlings-Blake said. “I believe that we need the assistance of the Department of Justice and the civil rights investigation to shore up that foundation, which is weak right now in this city.”

Rawlings-Blake said she had met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Tuesday and requested an investigation to see if the city’s police practices violate the Fourth Amendment, which references improper searches and seizures.

The news came hours before the state’s governor announced that he had lifted a state of emergency in the city and would pull out the National Guard and state police.

Read More: The Problems With Policing the Police

The Justice Department said in a statement Wednesday that Lynch is “actively considering” the requested investigation. Findings of police misconduct would result in recommendations to correct policing issues, similar to those issued in Ferguson, Mo. earlier this year. In some cases, cities enter an agreement with the federal government, known as a consent decree, which allows the federal government strict oversight of mandated reforms.

The Justice Department has already opened an investigation into whether Gray’s civil rights were violated, and six officers have been charged with a variety of crimes, including second degree murder.

Federal involvement aside, Rawlings-Blake has already committed to some reforms. She said Wednesday that all police officers in Baltimore would have cameras by the end of the year.


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