2017 April 3

Attorney General Sessions Announces DOJ to Back Off From Police Reform


Attorney General Jeff Sessions on this day announced that the Justice Department would “review” all department activities related to policing. Based on statements by Donald Trump during the presidential election campaign and after the election, along with statements by Sessions even before being sworn in as AG, the clear intent of the “review” is to back off from investigating abuses by local police departments and seeking reforms through consent decrees. The announcement undoubtedly brings to an end twenty years of federal investigations of police department for “patterns or practices” of abuse of peoples’ constitutional rights.

Following the statement, DOJ attempted to delay, if not stop, a pending consent decree over the Baltimore police. The federal judge, however, ignored the DOJ motions and signed the consent decree.

Read the DOJ’s February 2017 report on its Pattern or Practice work since 1994 here.

Read Sam Walker’s article on the DOJ pattern or practice work here.

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