Jeff Sessions Seeks Delay of Hearing on Police Reform

Posted April 06, 2017

"Those instances are extraordinarily few and numbered, given the total number of police officers in the U.S".

"There's some truth to that", said Seth Stoughton, a former police officer and assistant law professor at the University of SC. They're typically implemented following an investigation by the DOJ's Civil Rights Division that finds evidence of systemic bias.

Since the beginning of the Obama presidency, the Department of Justice opened 25 investigations into law enforcement agencies. All of them are all still active. In mid-January, the DOJ announced that it had reached a consent decree with the Baltimore Police Department and an agreement with the Chicago Police Department to pursue a decree just days before Trump's inauguration.

Sessions has always been a critic of the consent decree process, calling them "dangerous" in a 2008 report.

The consent decree was negotiated after President Barack Obama's Justice Department conducted a sweeping investigation of the Baltimore Police Department following the 2015 unrest after Freddie Gray's death from injuries suffered in police custody.

Once in place the federally imposed consent decree would not only be enforced by police supervisors now acting as de facto federal government bureaucrats but would be "monitored" by a district judge.

Police unions, however, have expressed frustration with some of the court-approved settlements, known as consent decrees, and they welcomed the shift in policy. In each, the Justice Department found evidence of a "pattern or practice" of biased policing on a wider scale than any individual officer. "After all, these injunctions are entered to protect the public interest", Smith said. "These latest developments are particularly ironic given that in the same memo outlining a review of these vital consent decrees, Attorney General Sessions also noted that 'local law enforcement must protect and respect the civil rights of all members of the public'".

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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That would allow the Fed's balance sheet to gradually run down in a process that is likely to take years. With improving economic conditions, the Fed increased interest rates by 25 basis points on March 15.

While the Post acknowledged that the Justice Department might find it hard to undo agreements that have already been authorized by courts and that have independent monitors in place, the real danger is derailing reforms still in negotiations in cities where a judge has not yet approved a deal, such as in Baltimore and Chicago.

But Davis said the department needs the court's mandate to ensure continued funding for reform efforts so officers can get the training, equipment and resources they need to improve. "At that point it's not a matter of will". Actively participating in a consent decree, he said, will help bolster faith in that process.

"We simply can not afford to turn back the clock on reforms that prevent innocent black women and men from being gunned down in the streets", Lee said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered the Justice Department to conduct a broad review of agreements that seek to overhaul troubled police departments. In fact, more often than not Obama was one who cheered on those engaged in protesting law enforcement, which typically blamed police for simply doing their job.

"And it is a clear sign that the Trump administration is seeking to undo, and walk away from, the consent decree that is a critical part of reforming Baltimore's police department", Rocah said.

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NAACP President Cornell Brooks called the move by the Trump Justice Department "somewhere between chilling and alarming".