Baltimore Citizens, Advocates Speak Out on Police Deal

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Baltimore residents, civil rights organizations and community groups are expressing their views today on the proposed police-reform consent decree between Baltimore and the U.S. Department of Justice in a federal courtroom, the Baltimore Sun reports. City leaders and civil rights organizers urged residents to ask the Trump Justice Department to remain committed to the deal, which was negotiated in the waning days of President Obama’s term. Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said he is “disappointed” that the Department of Justice requested a 90-day pause in the consent decree process.

Federal Judge James Bredar denied a motion by the Justice Department to delay the case for 90 days. The motion cited Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ directive to top deputies to review all such consent decrees to see whether they are in line with President Donald Trump’s renewed focus on crime reduction. Bredar yesterday denied the request as “untimely,” writing that granting such a delay “at the eleventh hour would be to unduly burden and inconvenience the Court, the other parties, and, most importantly, the public.” The consent decree must be approved by the court to become binding. The deal was reached after a sweeping investigation of the Baltimore Police Department by the Justice Department and a scathing report that outlined widespread unconstitutional and discriminatory policing in the city, particularly in poor, predominantly black neighborhoods.

 

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