Plan to overhaul Baltimore's police goes before the public

Plan to overhaul Baltimore's police goes before the public

The Justice Department on Monday asked the judge overseeing the plan, called a consent decree, to postpone for 90 days a scheduled hearing Thursday. Gore said there has been a spike in crime in Baltimore and the administration wants to make sure that the court-enforceable agreement, known as a consent decree, "will help rather than hinder public safety". But he told U.S. District Judge Kevin K. Bredar - who denied his request earlier this week to postpone Thursday's hearing for three months - that his office still wants to reevaluate the consent agreement.

Soon after, the Justice Department and the city of Baltimore negotiated a consent decree, whereby the city agreed to a federal court order requiring a detailed police reform process.

William Yeomans, who spent 26 years in the Department of Justice and served as the deputy assistant attorney general before leaving in 2006, says he doesn't buy this, given Sessions' "seeming disregard for the people whose constitutional rights are violated by police officers".

On Tuesday, city officials told the judge in a court filing that they oppose a 90-day extension to the hearing.

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The finger-pointing follows a brief burst of optimism Monday when Vice President Mike Pence took charge of negotiations. He said the hardline conservative Freedom Caucus have "moved the goalposts" and blew up hopes of a compromise.

On Monday, Sessions called for a review for all investigations and consent decrees with troubled police departments initiated under Obama administration.

The DOJ had wanted more time because Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to pull back from consent decrees and focus more on supporting police.

President Trump would like to terminate the two dozen agreements reached between police departments and the Obama administration.

The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division has the authority to investigate whether police departments have a pattern of excessive force and racial bias.

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Many shared harrowing stories of police abuse to make clear how necessary such reforms are. The areas Sessions highlighted for review included collaborative investigations and prosecutions, law enforcement grants, training, compliance reviews, and more.

While consent decrees that are in negotiation, or have not yet been reached, could now be in the balance under new leadership, it would be harder to change the consent decrees that already exist in cities such as Cleveland, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Ferguson, Missouri. The United States government is the plaintiff in this case and the city of Baltimore is the defendant, but it was lawyers representing the city who were pressing the judge to move forward and approve the proposed agreement.

In response to the comments, acting city solicitor David Ralph said the city stands by the deal, which he said was crafted with deep input from the community, careful consideration of public safety and measures to better train and equip police officers.

In April 2015, Baltimore erupted in the worst rioting in decades over the death of Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose neck was broken during what prosecutors said was a jolting ride in a police van while handcuffed and shackled. He also said heavy scrutiny of the police is making them less aggressive and leading to a rise in crime in some cities. "We are pleased with Judge Bredar's decision, which affords us the opportunity to continue to strengthen our relationships with the community and build upon our reform". "When they hear from the citizens tomorrow, they'll get a flavor of why this is important". Yesterday, Pugh and Davis said that they intend to institute the mandated changes whether or not the consent decree ultimately goes through.

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When these Delta passengers couldn't make their flight, the airline instead made a decision to treat everyone to a bite. He added, "we understand the resulting recovery has not been ideal and we apologize for that".

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