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AG Sessions orders review of consent decrees and other police reforms

AG Sessions orders review of consent decrees and other police reforms

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago police brass have said reforms would move forward with or without a consent decree.

The head of the Cleveland police union Steve Loomis saying: "We look forward to the results of Attorney General Sessions review and opinion concerning the very costly and largely ineffective consent decrees which have been forced upon cash strapped cities by the Obama Administration, Cleveland included".

Sessions wrote a two-page memo that says agreements reached previously between the Obama Justice Department 's civil rights division and local police departments will be subject to review by his two top deputies, throwing into question whether all of the agreements will stay in place.

A consent decree binds the police commissioner and mayor, no matter who they are, "to getting those reforms enacted under a timeline that's not necessarily our own", he said.

Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis believed the proposed agreement would fix public trust in the police while also quelling violence.

The Justice Department opened an investigation into that department in 1999, after several people were attacked by police dogs.

The decree was originally proposed in response to a federal investigation that found a pattern of civil rights violations within Baltimore's police department.

"Much has been done to begin the process of building faith between the police department and the community it seeks to serve", Pugh and Davis said in a joint statement.

North Carolina future uncertain after 'Bathroom bill' reset
It was worked out under mounting pressure from the NCAA, which threatened to take away more sporting events. North Carolina cities, schools and other groups have offered more than 130 bids for such events.

The probe was launched after Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died after suffering injuries while in police custody in April 2015.

He said he understood the motion to mean that Sessions is second-guessing the need for reform, a stance he called "a slap in the face to anyone that is suffering the effects of unconstitutional practices by police" in Baltimore. The death of Laquan McDonald, a black teen who was shot 16 times by a white police officer, was one example of that excessive force. We suspect that Sessions is motivated in no small part by President Donald Trump's drive to halt the questioning of police actions such as those in which officers are captured on video shooting or fatally restraining unarmed civilians.

In a Monday memo, Sessions said that the department will review all "collaborative investigations and prosecutions, grant making, technical assistance and training, compliance reviews, existing or contemplated consent decrees, and task force participation" to make sure that they are aligned with the department's priorities.

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions is undermining and obstructing extensive efforts that have been made to promote policing reform in a small set of the most broken police departments in our country", Clarke said. The investigation revealed that changes to the police force and behaviors were necessary.

The Justice Department asked the judge overseeing Baltimore's consent decree to postpone a hearing scheduled for Thursday for 90 days.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund called the request for a continuance "nothing more than a blatant attempt by the Justice Department to abandon its obligations under federal civil rights law and the U.S. Constitution to ensure that police departments are serving residents in a nondiscriminatory and constitutional manner", President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill said in a statement released late Monday night.

Cleveland - The Cleveland police consent decree, created to bring sweeping changes to the department, could be put under the knife.

He said it was possible that a consent decree in Chicago could still be reached — both sides reached an agreement in principle earlier this year — because of political pressures. "We believe there are reforms needed".


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