Judge approves plan to reform Baltimore police

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is ordering a review of all Justice Department "consent decrees" that force police departments to overhaul their practices, saying, "It is not the responsibility of the federal government to manage non-federal law enforcement agencies". He has called the agreements an "end run around the Democratic process" and said he believes police reform would be best handled on a local level.

"I'm not interested in having any delay tactics from having it move forward, and I think this is just a delay tactic until it dies", said Lauren Redmond, a city resident.

David Rocah urged the judge - both as a resident and as a representative of the ACLU of Maryland to move forward with the consent decree.

Gore said there are similar concerns that the DOJ has about consent decrees in other cities across the nation. Consent decree is approved.

Several speakers denounced racist and discriminatory policing affecting black residents in Baltimore.

A Baltimore judge heard from concerned citizens, the police department and the Trump DOJ as to whether the Baltimore police should go ahead with the reforms, reports the Associated Press. He noted the dangers officers face but added that they "must protect and respect the civil rights of all members of the public".

The Department of Justice questioned whether Obama's police reforms in Baltimore would actually help the city during a public hearing Thursday.

"I have grave concerns that some provisions of this decree will reduce the lawful powers of the police department and result in a less safe city", Sessions said.

After Thursday's public comment hearing - which Bredar declined to postpone at the government's request this week - the city filed a motion for admission pro hac vice on behalf of Debo P. Adegbile, a NY attorney who serves as commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

But Chicago had a crime problem long before talk of consent decrees.

U.S. District Judge James Bredar wrote that the consent decree was "comprehensive, detailed, and precise", and in the public interest.

Bredar simply responded, "Thank you, Mr. Gore".

"As between the parties, this case is settled", Bredar wrote in the ruling issued Friday. T.J. Smith, a spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department, echoed that sentiment in a statement to the media.

"Where is his justice?" asked an emotional Marcella Hill, holding a photo of her 31-year-old son Maurice, whom she said was shot by police inside their home in 2012. "It's OK to walk away like he never mattered, like he never lived", Hill said. "The decree may not be what everyone wants, but it is a good-faith step in the right direction".

"Please do not delay it", she said. Regardless of Sessions' position, the Seattle police reforms are not at risk.

Though there were exceptions, most of the 49 speakers who followed told the court they disagreed with Gore during the 3 minutes allotted for each to speak. Most of the written comments were in favor of the deal, with a few suggestions for tweaks, and a few were opposed to it. On Thursday, the Seattle police monitor declared the department to be in compliance with a key part of the consent decree.

"It is very important that our community as well as the police, our fire, all of our local officials have great relationships with the community". He also said heavy scrutiny of the police is making them less aggressive and leading to a rise in crime in some cities.

That consent order brought improvement, reform and greater transparency to the State Police, before it was eventually dissolved in 2009.