Judge blocks request to delay police hearing
- Author: Zachary Reyes Apr 06, 2017,
Apr 06, 2017, 8:44
A task crime reduction task force created by Attorney General Jeff Sessions will review how the Department of Justice enforces marijuana laws, among other things, according to a memo Sessions issued Wednesdays to 94 USA attorneys.
In his order, Judge James K. Bredar noted the request was filed "slightly more than two days before the hearing is scheduled to begin" and said the unique nature of the public fairness hearing makes a such a last-minute delay logistically hard for court officials. "The Justice Department and Attorney General Sessions should be supporting our efforts, not seeking to undermine them".
Holmes said Seattle will keep police reform as a priority, but that the Justice Department could make the work more hard financially.
The consent decree, if approved, would be a binding agreement mandating the police department implement sweeping reforms to address the discriminatory and unconstitutional practices identified.
City officials wrote that the court "might consider granting a brief time period for the new United States administration to further review the proposed Consent Decree prior to its entry" but said Thursday's hearing does not need to be postponed.
Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Kevin Davis speaks at a news conference at the department's headquarters in Baltimore, Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in response to the Department of Justice's request for a 90-day delay o.
Some police chiefs are vowing to continue with the reforms outlined in their consent decrees, regardless of who is in office.
Several Maryland Democratic congressmen asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to take back his delay request.
That probe was launched after the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who was fatally injured while being transported in a police van.
The mayor said that once the city gets a signed consent decree, the money will follow. That widespread review could include Seattle, which has been under a federal consent decree for five years to improve its police department.
Last month, a dozen organizations and about 50 people submitted 195 pages of written comments on the proposed agreement, which the city reached with the Justice Department during the last days of the Obama Administration. But Davis said some might be surprised by what the $500 million city Police Department doesn't have.
Mayor Catherine E. Pugh said in a statement that she was pleased with the judge's decision. "It'll make us better, it'll make the city better, it'll make our relationships with the community better". "I got the first computer in my vehicle in 1998", Davis said, referencing equipment he had while serving with the Prince George's County Police Department.