News Worms
News Worms


Civil rights groups alarmed over retreat on police reforms

Civil rights groups alarmed over retreat on police reforms

Consent decrees, which are enforceable by the courts, were put in place by the Obama Justice Department in such racially fraught cities as Cleveland and Ferguson, Missouri. But, he said, the consent decree is a help because it "binds" the commissioner and the mayor to "get reforms enacted" on a "timeline that is not necessarily [their] own", as overseen by a federal judge.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions' memorandum this week ordering a sweeping review of Obama-era police reform activities "reflects a lack of understanding on how the Civil Rights division works", Vanita Gupta, the former head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, told BuzzFeed News. The city will not make any adjustments to the agreement without hearing from the agency, Cantalamessa said.

"DOJ often is the last hope citizens have when city government has been unable to address deep, deep concerns about police misconduct, " Rogers said.

The United States Department of Justice may walk away from their investigations into city police departments. The review covers deals that had already been made by the Obama administration as well as those that are pending.

The Justice Department asked for a delay earlier this week, saying it needed time to review the plan and determine whether the proposal would hinder efforts to fight violent crime. Recommendations included enhancing training efforts, increasing accountability and forbidding officers from stopping residents simply because they are in high-crime areas. "The misdeeds of individual bad actors should not impugn or undermine the legitimate and honorable work that law enforcement officers and agencies perform in keeping American communities safe".

The Justice Department needs the 90 days to review the agreement as it develops strategies to support law enforcement agencies throughout the USA, lawyers for the department said in a motion filed in United States District Court for the District of Maryland. It would then be up to him to make sure the parties abide by it. So how does that fit into the Trump Justice Department's priorities? Bredar did not indicate when he would decide on the plan.

But after the Justice Department signaled it may abandon its efforts to help that reform, city officials fear they will be left with little money or political backing to fix the fractured relationship between police and citizens.

Mayor Ras Baraka vowed the city would continue its police department reforms despite actions by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that could threaten federal agreements overhauling troubled agencies.

"I do not feel the memo sent out by Jeff Sessions would have any effect on our progress because we are so far along in the process", Hicks said. No police department that has but a few "bad apples" in it ever has been or would be subject to federal oversight and a consent decree.

She added: "Both groups indicate that change is important to them - change in their interactions with each other that give them the safety and respect they're looking for".

There was also testimony from two mothers whose sons were killed in incidents with police.

"I want to meet with Donald Trump", he said, according to the Baltimore Sun newspaper.

After a almost two-year effort to reform the Chicago Police Department, the final piece of the puzzle may never come. "It is crucial that our children stop getting killed by the Baltimore city police". But regardless of the federal government's participation, she said, the city and police will continue work to fix shattered trust between law enforcement and the community.

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

After the hearing, the judge praised those who testified.

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