Loretta Lynch, Justice Department officials go to Baltimore
WASHINGTON — Attorney General Loretta Lynch will travel to Baltimore on Tuesday for meetings with city officials, members of Congress, law enforcement officials, as well as faith and community leaders, a Justice Department official told CNN.
Also going from the Department of Justice are head of the Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta, Director Ronald Davis of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and Director Grande Lum of the Community Relations Service.
Lynch, who was sworn into her position just over a week ago, has been closely monitoring the unrest in Baltimore that followed the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal injury to his spine while in police custody.
Lynch’s visit comes days after Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced Friday charges against six police officers involved in Gray’s death, which has been ruled a homicide.
On her first day on the job, Lynch briefed President Barack Obama on riots unfolding in Baltimore and last week announced a $20 million program to supply police departments with body cameras.
Obama has also said he may head to the city to meet with city officials and community leaders, but said he would wait until the situation cooled off to allow law enforcement to focus on keeping the peace in Baltimore — rather than escorting his motorcade and ensuring his safety.
Obama, like Lynch, has also spoken directly with Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Baltimore Democratic Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
And on Monday Obama looked to broaden the focus to discuss the root causes of tensions between police and urban communities — and solutions to bolster those inner-city neighborhoods — as he launched a new phase of his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative.
“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.”
By Jeremy Diamond
CNN’s Jedd Rosche contributed to this report.