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A federal judge approved a long-awaited consent decree to overhaul the Baltimore Police Department Friday, reports the New York Times.

From the New York Times:

The long-awaited agreement between the federal government and city leaders would introduce a wide range of police reforms, including training, new technology and community oversight. The agreement rose from a scathing 2016 Justice Department report that found systemic racial bias in the police department.

…The approval came as a relief to supporters who feared the agreement might be delayed or canceled under the new presidential administration. The pact was signed on Jan. 12, eight days before Donald J. Trump was inaugurated. Its supporters knew President Trump and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, would be less likely to support it…

On Monday, the Justice Department sought a 90-day delay so it could review all police reform agreements, including the one in Baltimore. But Judge James K. Bredar said Friday that he interpreted that request as the department’s trying to determine “whether it wants the court to enter the decree at all, or at least the current version of it.” That opportunity had passed, he said. “The parties have already agreed to the draft before the court,” Judge Bredar wrote in his decision. “It would be extraordinary for the court to permit one side to unilaterally amend an agreement already jointly reached and signed.”

In a response to the judge’s action, the Justice Department issued an initial statement saying the agreement had been rushed and would make Baltimore — a city that is 63 percent black and a place where the DOJ found that cops disproportionately targeted Black people such as Freddie Gray who died while in police custody in 2015 —  “a less safe city,” reports The Washington Post.

SOURCE: New York TimesThe Washington Post


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Judge Approves Baltimore Police Department Overhaul  was originally published on