Call in the Feds: Baltimore Asks for Justice Department Review of Police

Attorney General Loretta Lynch (2nd L) accompanied by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (C) speaks during a work meeting at Baltimore City Hall in Baltimore, Maryland May 5, 2015. Jose Luis Magana/Pool/Reuters

(Reuters) - Baltimore will ask the Justice Department to investigate its police department for civil rights violations after the death of a black man from injuries sustained in police custody, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said on Wednesday.

The review will look into police "patterns and practices" and potential violations of the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which bars unreasonable searches and seizures, Rawlings-Blake told a news conference.

"We cannot be timid in addressing this problem, and I am a mayor that does not shy away from our city's big challenges," she said.

The request follows the death last month of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who died of spinal injuries after being arrested by police. His death sparked protests and a day of arson and looting in the largely black city, and six officers were charged last week.

A Department of Justice spokesman was not immediately available to comment. Rawlings-Blake's announcement came a day after Attorney General Loretta Lynch visited Baltimore.