US Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday rightly expressed "grave concerns" about the Team Obama-negotiated consent decree covering policing in Baltimore.
FILE - In this Tuesday, April 4, 2017 file photo, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, left, speaks alongside Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Kevin Davis at a news conference at City Hall in Baltimore, in response to the Department of Justice's request for a 90-day delay of a hearing on its proposed overhaul of the Baltimore Police Department.
Adegbile, of Wilmer Hale, represents municipalities and local government agencies involved Justice Department investigations, according to his bio, and he previously worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
On Wednesday afternoon, less than 24 hours before the hearing was scheduled to begin, Bredar denied the DOJ's request for a postponement, and the hearing took place, as planned, on Thursday morning.
The consent degree, an agreement on police reforms between the Obama administration and the Baltimore Police Department, came after the DOJ alleged the department had a history of unconstitutional practices and racial discrimination.
The Department of Justice questioned whether Obama's police reforms in Baltimore would actually help the city during a public hearing Thursday. Freddie Gray's unfortunate death was merely the excuse to start the process.
The motion had cited Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recent directive to top deputies within the department to review a range of law enforcement efforts in the country _ including consent decrees _ to see whether they are in line with President Donald Trump's renewed focus on crime reduction. Making police reforms last continues.
Now, given Sessions' Justice Department memo, the Baltimore decree, as well as perhaps a dozen others across the land, may be delayed, or perhaps dissolved altogether even before needed reforms are fully implemented.
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The Department of Justice stands ready to work with Baltimore to fight violent crime and improve policing in the city.
Last year, the Justice Department published a scathing 164-page report outlining widespread abuse including excessive force, unlawful stops and discriminatory practices.
"We have seen much tragedy, and I've been a part of some of that myself".
Indeed, it is unclear just how many of those consent decrees already finalized could be affected by the Sessions-ordered reviews.
The National Fraternal Order of Police said it a statement that it was unhappy with the judge's decision to move forward.
Booker, a former mayor of Newark, saw firsthand the effects of such consent decrees.
"As Judge Bredar noted, Baltimore can not flourish without effective and lawful policing, and this consent decree represents the first step towards that reality", NAACP LDF president and director-counsel Sherrilyn Ifill said in a statement released Friday. A diverse set of residents asked the court not to let the police department off the hook, and to maintain a role in forcing reforms through the consent decree.
Almost all residents who testified Thursday voiced strong support for the consent decree and urged the judge to sign it swiftly.