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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A local nonprofit filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Baltimore City Law Department, alleging the department is conspiring with the Baltimore Police Department to obstruct access to public records of police misconduct.

The Baltimore Action Legal Team, also known as BALT, is a civil rights-focused nonprofit that provides legal support.

The organization is representing three plaintiffs: Open Justice Baltimore, a nongovernmental organization; Alissa Figueroa, a journalist in residence at Morgan State University; and reporter Brandon Soderberg.

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The Baltimore City Law Department is the custodian of records for Baltimore Police, and BALT alleges its plaintiffs have made 21 requests for public
records regarding police conduct since 2019, but “not a single full file of an officer’s history of misconduct has been disclosed.”

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BALT said the department has a “pattern and practice of obstructing disclosure” as well as denying information relevant to the public interest, information that is granted under the Maryland Public Information Act. The act grants Marylanders “a broad right of access to public records while protecting legitimate governmental interests and the privacy rights of individual citizens,” according to the Office of the Attorney General.

The nonprofit accused the department of obstructing access in a variety of ways, including “ignoring requests outright, disregarding mandatory timelines… applying erroneous costs… providing files missing vital information, and disclosing information in unusable formats.”

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Mayor Brandon Scott’s office on Friday told WJZ it is aware of BALT’s lawsuit, but hasn’t received a copy of the complaint.

The City and BPD are committed to transparency and compliance with the MPIA,” a spokesperson for Scott said. “Once the Law Department is able to review, it will respond to the Complaint in court in accordance with the judicial process.”

News Source: cbslocal.com

Tags: baltimore news balt baltimore law department baltimore news baltimore police maryland news baltimore news access to public records law department baltimore police obstructing the department department the baltimore

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Athlete furious as ‘seven’ armed cops pull him over ‘for using phone’ – 2 years after ‘racial profiling’ stop-and-search

A TOP athlete has told of his fury after he was pulled over by "seven armed cops" two years after he was allegedly racially profiled during a stop-and-search.

Portuguese sprinter Ricardo dos Santos, 27, had been driving home in his Tesla on the A40 in London when a police car pulled in front of him.

3Portuguese sprinter Ricardo dos Santos, 27, was pulled over by police on Saturday night 3He and his British sprinter partner Bianca Williams were allegedly racially profiled by police in 2020Credit: Facebook/Bianca Williams 3He claims seven armed cops surrounded his car on Saturday night

When he eventually found a safe spot to pull in, he claims he was met with an “aggressive” officer.

Video shops the cop banging on the window before unfurling his collapsible baton.

Ricardo says he was told they thought he had been on the phone while driving - and his £57,000 car was soon surrounded by seven police officers.

He and his Team GB athlete girlfriend Bianca Williams were victims of an alleged racist stop-and-search incident back in 2020.

Describing last night’s events on Twitter Ricardo said: “Not surprised I had to go through this again. 

“Whilst driving home last night seven armed @metpoliceuk officers stopped me because they thought I was on my phone whilst driving. At their request I pulled over when safe to do so.

“After I stopped two officers ran towards either side of the car, one fist clenched banged on my window and tried opening the car door. 

“Not knowing how to use a Tesla handle he took out his baton out of frustration ready to smash the glass.”

“Annoyed that 2 years down nothing has changed but they still manage to over police.. 

“Why do 7 armed officers need to be present when I was alone? Two or three max would have been enough.”

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When asked what officers said when they realised he had not been on the phone, he said: “I quote ‘let's put that matter to bed’ was what they said.

“Nothing better to do with their night, the whole response and the need for backup was over the top.”

Back in April it was revealed that five police officers could face the sack over the 2020 stop-and-search.

The Independent Office of Police Conduct said that an acting sergeant and four PCs will appear before a gross misconduct board.

The couple had been making their way home from race training when cops conducted a stop-and-search in July 2020.

TREATED LIKE 'SCUM'

They were handcuffed in front of their three-month-old baby during a search for weapons and drugs in West London. None was found.

The Met referred itself to the IOPC after footage was put online by their coach, Olympic sprint ace Linford Christie.

Williams and partner Ricardo dos Santos, 27, believe they were racially profiled and said they had been treated like "scum".

At the time she said: "I hope this opens the door for the Met to start being more honest about the culture of racism."

A spokesperson for Met Police told The Sun: "We are aware of footage on social media showing part of a stop on a car.

"At about 04.00hours on Sunday, 14 August, armed officers were on routine patrol in a marked police vehicle. 

"They saw a car travelling eastbound on the A40 Westway and were concerned the driver may be using a mobile phone at the wheel

"The officers clearly indicated for the car to pull over but it failed to do so and they called for further assistance. The driver stopped about five minutes later in Orsett Terrace W2, and the officers spoke to him about why they wanted to stop the vehicle.

"Following the conversation the vehicle was allowed on its way. We have since contacted the driver via Twitter to invite him to contact us if he would like to discuss this matter further."

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