U.S. NewsCrime


Department Of Justice Aims To Halt Baltimore Policing Overhaul

The Department of Justice requested a 30-day hold on a consent decree overhauling Baltimore's police department.
Posted at 10:26 PM, Apr 06, 2017

Toward the end of President Obama's term, the U.S. Department of Justice released a scathing report about Baltimore's police force and pledged to overhaul how it operated.

But under President Trump, the DOJ could roll back the order.

The 2016 report found evidence of systemic racism in the Baltimore Police Department. Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch ordered a consent decree, meaning the federal government would oversee the department's clean up.

But Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he has "grave concerns" about this particular agreement. At a recent public hearing, DOJ attorneys asked for a 30-day delay in the consent decree, citing a recent bump in crime.

They argued the decree would make effective policing more difficult, but city officials and police want to move forward with it to improve trust with the community.

"The police department is absolutely dedicated to the consent decree process," Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said.

The department reforms would focus on de-escalating potentially violent situations and adding cameras in some police vehicles.

Now, a U.S. district judge will have to decide whether to let the decree move forward.