Judge: Baltimore police timid when confronting corruption

BALTIMORE (AP) — The judge enforcing a federal oversight program requiring sweeping police reforms in Baltimore says the city’s troubled force has a “culture of timidity” in confronting corruption within its ranks.

U.S. District Judge James Bredar says the Baltimore Police Department has been greatly harmed by “pockets of corruption.” He says encouraging whistleblowers within the force and breaking a code of silence is critical.

At a Thursday court hearing to review progress implementing a federal consent decree, Bredar stressed that the force’s “timidity must be replaced by a culture of absolute intolerance for those who misbehave.”

Bredar’s comments come days after the independent monitor overseeing the reform process told state lawmakers he believed Baltimore’s beleaguered force had a “culture of corruption.” The police union’s leadership blasted that portrayal as “irresponsible.”

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