Baltimore Police add a Force Investigation Team, make incidents more public

BALTIMORE, Md. - Police lights in Waverly, officers pull over a car and question the driver.  What we saw looked professional.  What others describe in the area, may cross the line.

"He punched him like right in the jaw and fractured it," said Isaih Smith, who lives in Waverly.

What Smith's brother felt following an encounter with a police officer could be an example of what's made public on the homepage for Baltimore Police.  The Force Investigation Team will look into major uses of force, like when a gun is fired or a head is hit.

“This is the elected executive members of this agency, working together with the state's attorney's office reviewing the facts and coming to a very educated opinion," said Baltimore police Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez. 

"It's a brotherhood.  They're going to take care of each other.  I think it needs to be an outside entity that's looking into the complaints," said Kendra Gatling, who lives in Waverly.  

The case of Tyrone West, who died in police custody last year, would be one taken up by the FIT.  There are 15 incidents listed this year, involving guns, Tasers, vehicles and a head injury.

A civilian review board will see the complaints before any changes are handed down.

"I think this organization needs to be applauded for taking these steps today.  I don't see any other agencies in the state of Maryland doing this," said Baltimore police Commissioner Anthony Batts.

Batts will get a complete report in 72 hours, then recommendations will be made that the department calls different and innovative.

"You're a police officer, you're supposed to protect and serve, not to hurt people," said Smith.   

The police department will decide which cases get reported.  If you want to check out the map with more details, click here .

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