Hearing on Baltimore consent decree scheduled for Thursday
A court hearing at which the public will be able to comment on a proposed agreement to reform the Baltimore Police Department will go forward Thursday, despite an attempt by the Justice Department to postpone it.
Citing the “substantial logistical hurdles” a federal court has overcome to prepare for what is expected to be a packed hearing, U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar denied the Justice Department’s request to push back the hearing by 90 days.
The Justice Department this week requested a delay of the hearing to review the proposed consent decree in light of new guidance issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Late Monday, the attorney general announced sweeping review of Justice Department interactions with local law enforcement, to include the courtenforceable consent decrees used to overhaul troubled police departments.
Judge Bredar wrote that hundreds of people are expected to attend Thursday’s hearing and that numerous changes have been made by court employees and judges to accommodate the “extraordinary proceeding.”
He called the Justice Department’s request “untimely” and noted that government attorneys had not provided evidence of any prejudice if the hearing were allowed to go forward.