A federal appeals court has ordered a temporary halt to the consent decree that mandates widespread changes at the New Orleans Police Department, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. A 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel granted the halt while it awaits a reply from the U.S. Department of Justice to a motion for an emergency stay pending an appeal of the consent decree from Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration, due by noon Monday.
The Landrieu administration has asked the 5th Circuit to review U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan’s decision in January to endorse the consent decree. The mayor’s office has argued that the city can’t afford to carry out the police pact while there is a separate consent decree in place aimed at reforming conditions at Orleans Parish Prison. The city told the appeals court this week that being forced “to execute such a costly contract while its appeal is pending deprives the city of any meaningful appellate opportunities and will irreparably harm [ ] its residents.” The city’s contended that it had already implemented “meaningful reforms and can continue to do so” on its own without spending the “exorbitant fees” required by the consent decree.