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US Dept. of Justice Holds Its First Town Hall Meeting On Policing In Baltimore

Many local residents waited for a turn at the microphone to tell of their experiences with the Baltimore police
Mary Rose Madden for wypr
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Many local residents waited for a turn at the microphone to tell of their experiences with the Baltimore police

Many local residents waited for a turn at the microphone to tell of their experiences with the Baltimore police
Credit Mary Rose Madden for wypr
/
Many local residents waited for a turn at the microphone to tell of their experiences with the Baltimore police

Hundreds of local residents were at Coppin State University last night for a town hall meeting about police reform hosted by The U.S. Department of Justice.

For hours, the line to speak at the microphones held steady.  The majority were African Americans. They described being harassed by the police, finding no accountability in the police department, asking for a record of officers who have been accused of misconduct.  Others, like Jason Rodriguez, spoke about being assaulted by Baltimore police, while other officers watched and did nothing to help. "There was no probable cause, no warrant, no reasonable suspicion - during this siege into my wife's home, I was assaulted in front of my family." Rodriguez said he's been trying to file a report about the incident for years.

The Department of Justice says last night’s was the first of several town hall meetings that will take place this year.  They say they want to collaborate as they create a report commissioned by the city police department about police strategies and the use of force. 

Copyright 2015 WYPR - 88.1 FM Baltimore

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Mary Rose is a reporter and senior news producer for 88.1 WYPR FM, a National Public Radio member station in Baltimore. At the local news desk, she assigns stories, organizes special coverage, edits news stories, develops series and reports.