In one of her first acts in 2015, then-U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch called for an end to rioting in Baltimore by promising a civil rights investigation into the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man whose fatal injuries in police custody had provoked unrest. “We will continue our careful and deliberate examination of the facts in the coming days and weeks,” she said. Her top deputies promised the work would be done “expeditiously.” Two years later, Lynch has left office without completing the investigation, and without providing an update on its status, reports the Baltimore Sun.
President Donald Trump’s inauguration ushers in a new administration seen as less likely to pursue charges against police officers. Trump has called Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s failed prosecution of the six police officers involved in Gray’s arrest “a disgrace.” The open federal investigation involves federal agents and prosecutors reviewing evidence to determine whether individual officers criminally violated Gray’s civil rights. It is different from the Justice Department investigation that determined that Baltimore Police routinely violated individuals’ rights, and which resulted this month in a consent decree mandating police reforms. What will come of the civil rights investigation into Gray’s death is unclear, though some observers said its fate is sealed under Trump.