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Baltimore Announces Independent Review of Corrupt Unit

The city of Baltimore will give an independent attorney unfettered access for a top-to-bottom review of the Gun Trace Task Force.

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison and Baltimore City Solicitor Andre Davis announced Wednesday that the review would be conducted by Michael R. Bromwich, an attorney at the Washington, D.C., firm Steptoe & Johnson and former inspector general at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Bromwich will have full autonomy to conduct the review as he sees fit – without interference from the police department, Harrison said.

“Baltimore Police Department’s only role will be to provide whatever information he asks for,” Harrison said.

Bromwich’s conclusions will be released in a report that the Baltimore Police Department and city law department will have no control over. There is no timeline for the investigation.

“We are hopeful, truly hopeful, that a full and complete airing of the facts, with absolutely no punches pulled, will promote the healing process that this city and this police department so badly need,” Bromwich said at a news conference.

The announcement comes after Harrison and Davis have been pressed for such an investigation by a legislative panel in Annapolis and U.S. District Court Judge James K. Bredar, who is overseeing the consent decree process to reform the police department.

Davis said even though the review could lead to legal and liability risks for the police department, it is necessary for the department to “burn off the stink of this horrific scandal.”

Harrison will issue a directive to all Baltimore Police Department employees to fully comply with any requests from Bromwich.

“We must and we will learn everything we can about the terrible chapter in the BPD’s history and to ensure that it never happens again,” Harrison said. “And to help rebuild relationships with our communities.”

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Baltimore Announces Independent Review of Corrupt Unit