Baltimore Police Brutality Lawyer
If you or a loved one was the victim of police brutality in Baltimore, the Police Brutality Center can help. We understand the impact that police violence and misconduct have on city residents and their families. At the Police Brutality Center, we offer support, resources, and guidance. We can help you find a Baltimore police brutality lawyer to get the justice you deserve.
In the United States, some 1,000 people are killed by the police each year. Like other major cities, Baltimore has an ugly history of police misconduct and brutality. The situation is so dire that HBO created a series, “We Own This City,” to expose police brutality in Baltimore. However, the Black community has been targeted by the police even longer than what’s depicted in the show.
At the Police Brutality Center, we understand the seriousness of the situation and have worked for years to advocate for victims and their families. We aim to help you find the legal resources to seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Read on to learn about legislation and resources regarding police misconduct cases in Baltimore and how an experienced Baltimore police brutality lawyer can help.
Baltimore Police Brutality Statistics
The 2015 death of Freddie Gray due to police misconduct brought attention to the problem of police brutality in Baltimore. Between 2015 and 2019, 13,391 misconduct complaints were filed against over 1,800 officers in the city. Notably, 90.7 percent of the 22,884 use-of-force incidents involved Black residents. Six officers, all Gun Trace Task Force members, were named in more than 100 of the complaints.
More recent statistics show that in the first quarter of 2022, the Baltimore Police Department received 361 complaints, which averaged four per day. These statistics again show that Black residents comprised the largest demographic of complainants.
Police Misconduct Laws in Baltimore
According to the Maryland General Assembly, police misconduct means a practice, conduct, or pattern by a law enforcement agency or police officer involving one or more of the following situations:
- Depriving someone of the rights they’re entitled to by the Constitution and state and federal laws
- Violating criminal statutes
- Violating a law enforcement agency’s policies or standards
When a complaint is filed, the Office of Equity and Civil Rights receives it. This body is made up of three civilian entities that handle cases of police accountability in Baltimore. The Police Accountability Board receives complaints involving the public and then refers them to the proper law enforcement agency for future investigation.
Examples of police brutality and misconduct include:
- Excessive force
- Sexual misconduct
- False arrest
- Racial profiling
- Indifference to serious medical needs
- Significant risk of harm to someone in custody
Individuals accused of misconduct include federal, state, or local law enforcement officers, prosecutors, probation officers, judges, correctional officers, jailers, and police officers.
Police Misconduct Cases in Baltimore
In 2022, the Baltimore City Spending Board authorized spending $500,000 to settle lawsuits filed by four people against officers who were members of the Gun Trace Task Force in the city. One of the lawsuits, for the 2016 case of Derrick Anderson, settled for $60,000.
In the Anderson case, Gun Trace Task Force members reported gunfire on Lafayette Street. They alleged Anderson was running and appeared to have a firearm. Anderson pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm and spent 14 months in jail. However, he filed a lawsuit alleging that the officers made up the story. Anderson claimed false arrest, malicious prosecution, and false imprisonment.
Anderson’s criminal case was among over 180 eventually dropped by the State’s Attorney Office after eight Gun Trace Task Force officers were convicted of numerous crimes, including racketeering and planting evidence.
The best-known and most-publicized case of police misconduct in Baltimore involved Freddie Gray in 2015. After Gray’s death, the entire police force underwent significant reforms. However, there were still over 1,800 complaints reported between 2015 and 2019. The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland published a report finding that over 400 officers were the subject of at least one complaint of physical violence.
There are more recent cases of misconduct in Baltimore, as well. For example, in October 2021, Baltimore police officer Walter Wilson was accused of touching a female officer inappropriately while on duty. The day after the incident, Wilson encountered the same female officer and made a derogatory comment about her.
Another Baltimore police officer, Larry Worsley, was indicted in March 2023 for first-degree theft, disorderly intoxication, using a firearm in a violent crime, and assault. According to the prosecutors, Worsley assaulted a woman on March 5 in a bar.
Baltimore Police Brutality Lawyers
There are several police brutality and civil rights lawyers and law firms in Baltimore.
The law firm of Murphy & Falcon Murphy represented William Green after he was shot seven times in 2020 while handcuffed in the back of a patrol car. Green’s family received a $20 million settlement from Prince George’s County.
Justin Lipowitz, an attorney at Azreal, Franz, Schwap, Lipowitz & Solter, obtained a $6 million settlement for the family of Elbert Davis Sr., who was killed and his wife seriously injured after a 2010 police chase involving Gun Trace Task Force members. The police officers’ vehicle collided with that of the couple—both in their 80s—as they drove home.
Why Work With a Police Brutality Lawyer?
Police brutality cases can be challenging to prove on your own. Police departments have vast resources and a political network protecting them. So, you should get legal help from an experienced and skilled Baltimore civil rights lawyer.
These legal professionals thoroughly understand the law and police procedures. They can investigate your claim, gather evidence to support your case, advocate for you in court, and negotiate a settlement to recover the compensation you deserve.
Filing a Civil Rights Claim in Baltimore
If you plan to file a complaint, there are several things to keep in mind. First, your complaint will require a careful investigation. Because of this, your case will likely take time to produce results.
You can start the complaint process by filling out the form online. You’ll then meet with a member of the Community Relations Commission to start the process. The complaint will be reviewed to determine if it is something covered. You must also remember to file within 180 days of incidents occurring in Baltimore.
If the complaint is approved, it is sent to the director and assigned to an investigator. The first step for the investigation is typically a fact-finding conference. However, this is not necessary for all complaints.
Instead of managing the process alone, consider hiring a police brutality lawyer in Baltimore.
Police Reform and Legislation in Baltimore
Baltimore has been a focal point in the ongoing discussion in the United States about police reform. This is due largely to the significant number of high-profile cases coming out of the area in recent years. One of the most notable policies introduced is the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights, which was amended to increase transparency and accountability in police procedures.
Baltimore City Police Accountability Board
The Baltimore City Police Accountability Board is an independent department that oversees and investigates complaints filed against the Baltimore Police Department. The board is made up of 17 civilian members to ensure public involvement and scrutiny. This civilian oversight aims to repair community trust. Filing a complaint with the board is one option if you or someone you love has been the victim of police brutality or misconduct.
The Police Brutality Center Can Help You Seek Justice
Police misconduct and brutality are issues that plague Baltimore. While the situation has been discussed for decades, complaints are still mounting.
At the Police Brutality Center, we encourage victims to contact us for help. We will use our resources to help you find a Baltimore police brutality lawyer and take steps to seek justice. Get legal help.