Though Trump may be lauded for okaying an airstrike against a Syrian air base, he isn’t quite getting his way here at home.
The Baltimore Sun reported that a federal judge upheld an Obama-era decree between the city of Baltimore and the Department of Justice. The current Justice Department administration requested the agreement be postponed for 30 days while they reviewed it and made any changes.
The U.S. District Judge James Bredar wrote in his decision denying the postponing:
‘The case is no longer in a phase where any party is unilaterally entitled to reconsider the terms of the settlement; the parties are bound to each other by their prior agreement. The time for negotiating the agreement is over. The only question now is whether the Court needs more time to consider the proposed decree. It does not.’
The consent decree, which was signed by Bredar, is the result of a report that found several violations of constitutional rights in the operations of the Baltimore police department. The investigation and negotiations between the U.S. Department of Justice was prompted after the death of Freddie Gray, who died in the back of a police van. The decree would begin a major overhaul of the Baltimore police department.
Of course, Attorney General Jeff “Forrest” Sessions is madder than a moccasin that’s been stepped on. In a statement released by Sessions, he commented:
‘Today, a federal court entered a consent decree that will require the court and a highly-paid monitor to govern every detail of how the Baltimore Police Department functions for the foreseeable future.’
He claims the decree was rushed as it came about during the last days of Obama’s term in office.
‘This decree was negotiated during a rushed process by the previous administration and signed only days before they left office. While the Department of Justice continues to fully support police reform in Baltimore, 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.’
He expressed his belief that the decree would only lead to more crime.
‘The mayor and police chief in Baltimore say they are committed to better policing and that there should be no delay to review this decree, but there are clear departures from many proven principles of good policing that we fear will result in more crime. ‘
The Baltimore Sun reported back in January that several requirements of the decree, include officers introducing themselves by name and rank, forms to be filled out for each stop with location, race, ethnicity, and age listed; officers to receive eight hours of training yearly on public relations with people from all walks of life; and much more.
They also reported the decree restricts officers from chokeholds or neck holds unless it is absolutely necessary, investigating an individual based on their behavior around officers (such as trying to avoid an officer), frisking people for no reason, and more.
The judge’s decision is a step in the right direction for improving civil rights in the city of Baltimore and relations between the officers and the public. It’s also a message to the Trump administration they can’t roll back all of Obama’s legacy.
Featured image via Getty Images / Win McNamee.