A civil rights investigation has been launched into the Maryland State Police, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Friday (July 15).
The DOJ is probing the Maryland State Police to determine whether the department engages in racist hiring and promotion practices, Reuters reports.
The investigation announced on Friday marks the latest in a number of “pattern or practice” civil probes launched by President Joe Biden‘s Justice Department into police agencies across the nation for discriminatory conduct.
DOJ cases in Minneapolis, Louisville, and Kentucky are currently investigating discriminatory policing tactics against civilians.
However, the Maryland State Police probe differs from the existing cases as it concerns discriminatory employment practices within the department.
“Discrimination has no place in any workplace, and especially in law enforcement agencies,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement.
“Our investigation will determine whether the Maryland Department of State Police has created racially discriminatory barriers for Black people seeking job opportunities and promotions and, if so, identify the reforms necessary to ensure equal employment opportunities,” Clarke added.
Colonel Woodrow Jones, superintendent for the Maryland State Police, said the department will be fully cooperating with the investigation.
“The Maryland Department of State Police remains steadfast in its commitment to providing the highest quality of law enforcement services to the people of Maryland,” Jones said in a statement. “Significant actions have been taken and are continuing to address even the perception of racism or unfair treatment of any kind.”
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