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New U.S. attorney general to visit Baltimore

By
Amy R. Connolly
Attorney General Loretta Lynch planned to be in Baltimore on Tuesday. File Photo by Pete Marovich/UPI
Attorney General Loretta Lynch planned to be in Baltimore on Tuesday. File Photo by Pete Marovich/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, May 5 (UPI) -- Attorney General Loretta Lynch and several top Justice Department officials will travel to Baltimore on Tuesday to meet with city and state lawmakers, law enforcement officials and community leaders after days of protests left the city shaken.

Lynch, sworn in April 27, will be accompanied by Vanita Gupta, head of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division; Ronald Davis, director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services; and Grande Lum, director of the Community Relations Service.

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The visit comes as tensions linger over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured while in police custody. Protests turned violent after Gray's funeral on April 27, adding fuel to the national debate about law enforcement's relationship with the community it serves. Six Baltimore police officers have been charged in Gray's death.

The Justice Department is continuing its civil rights investigation into Gray's death and a review of the city's police force.

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On her first day on the job, Lynch announced a $20 million program to supply police departments with body cameras. President Barack Obama said he may also head to the city in the coming weeks, but would wait to allow law enforcement to focus on keeping the peace in Baltimore.

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On Monday, Obama launched a new phase of the My Brother's Keeper initiative to focus on the causes of tensions between police and urban communities and created solutions to alleviate that tension.

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"There's no shortage of people telling you who and what is to blame for the plight of these communities," Obama said Monday. "But I'm not interested in blame. I'm interested in responsibility, and I'm interested in results."

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