Trump's Justice Department Second Guesses Consent Decrees

Supporters of the consent decree also say it would benefit Baltimore police officers.

As part of that update, the Attorney General announced the creation of Task Force subcommittees that will focus on a variety of issues including "evaluating marijuana enforcement policy".

Gore said that given the crime spike in Baltimore, the government wants more time to make sure any agreed upon remedy "will help rather than hinder public safety".

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". If you take them at their word, the fight with Sessions will only determine whether they have a federal monitor looking over their shoulder while they do it.

According to the Sun, Pugh and other Baltimore officials vow that they will reform the police department whether the Justice Department pursues the consent decree or not. "The people that actually live here; the people that actually have experienced some type of brutality with an officer, these are the people that are asking for it, so now our Department of Justice, the new person that's running it, is going to come in and say now we're going to do a reform? Why? Why?" In her budget, Pugh has allocated funds for training, new technology and monitoring, and Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has pledged state support. It is hard to imagine a more profound abdication of the Justice Department's legal responsibilities.

"Crime and violence are the problems that face Chicago, not the police". His death prompted tumultuous protests and fiery debate over police conduct in the city. Yet, at the same time he's made a YUGE (to use an overused Trumpism) deal of trying to defund sanctuary cities and expecting local police to enforce immigration law. But it has to be responsible and responsive.

"Please do not delay this decree", implored Greta Carter-Willis, whose 14 year old son was fatally shot by a police officer several years ago after she said an officer mistook a dust pan he was holding as a gun. Would Sessions not support a study of this sort of "collateral damage"?

The stand represents the start of what appears to be a retreat by the Trump administration from the federal consent decrees that have been put in place in several USA cities in recent years to root out racism, excessive force and other abuses against minorities. "It is not the responsibility of the federal government to manage non-federal law enforcement agencies". Police knew who the bad guys were, and they knew who the good guys were.

Every American needs to follow the Constitution and obey the law. In return, the cops institute cosmetic "reforms" that allow them to more efficiently carry out their missions as armies of occupation in the Black community. He called the proposed consent decree a "heavily negotiated document" that took all concerns into account.

Sessions is unable to unilaterally roll back existing consent decrees - doing so would require the approval of a federal judge - but his memo may jeopardize police reforms in Chicago and Baltimore, where agreements with the federal government are still pending.

As one who has lived in the communities described as hellscapes, where citizens are viewed on sight as suspects, and also in neighborhoods where you are given the benefit of the doubt, I recognize that while policing is different, the hopes and dreams of the majority of the people who live in these places are remarkably similar: peaceful and productive lives for themselves and their children.

  • Larry Hoffman