The Baltimore chapter of the NAACP has asked the FBI for an “urgent and extensive investigation” into what errors led the Baltimore Police Department to dismiss at least a dozen internal cases of police misconduct.
The civil rights group expressed concern after 12 internal disciplinary reports were thrown out amid charges that they had been mishandled.
Last month, JoAnn Woodson-Branche, the officer responsible for prosecuting internal misconduct cases, was fired; the police union had argued that she was responsible for a plethora of errors that violated officers’ rights, The Baltimore Sun reports. Marvin “Doc” Cheatham, head of the Baltimore Branch of the NAACP, said in the letter that the "reasoning given [for the cases being dropped] is suspicious, the timing is suspicious, the affects [sic] are troubling. …Why was only Ms. Woodson-Branch [sic] fired – her action purportedly affected so many," Cheatham wrote. "Some office and some officials, clearly, had to have some oversight in so many cases." According to the Sun, one of the cases involved an alleged racial discrimination charge against two White supervisors.
Cheatham had personally urged the Police Department to take action on the case and "ensure justice" after it appeared the case might slip by the deadline to charge the accused officers. Police officials now say that the case has been scrapped, saying it was one of several that were mishandled.