POLICE REFORM

Judge Approves Baltimore Consent Decree, Denies DOJ Request

A federal judge on Friday approved a consent decree that was previously agreed upon by the city of Baltimore and the U.S. Department of Justice, at the tail end of Obama's presidency. Baltimore is one many cities all over the country, including Ferguson, Missouri, that were involved in efforts by the previous president to change and improve the relationships between police departments and the citizens they are entrusted to protect. Fourteen law enforcement agencies agreed to so-called consent decrees with the federal government. Friday's approval at the same time denied a request by Attorney General Jeff Sessions' regime to delay the decree. The move, by U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar, turned the police reform agreement into a court order. Sessions had requested to delay the order for 30 days for the purpose of reassessing the deal, as part of a larger review of police relations in the U.S. "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," Bredar wrote, in his ruling. "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."