Ses­sions lim­its con­sent de­crees in po­lice re­form

The Buffalo News - - FRONT PAGE - – New York Times

WASH­ING­TON – For­mer At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions has dras­ti­cally lim­ited the abil­ity of fed­eral law en­force­ment of­fi­cials to use court-en­forced agree­ments to over­haul lo­cal po­lice de­part­ments ac­cused of abuses and civil rights vi­o­la­tions, the Jus­tice Depart­ment an­nounced Thurs­day.

In a ma­jor last-minute act, Ses­sions signed a mem­o­ran­dum Wed­nes­day be­fore Pres­i­dent Trump fired him sharply cur­tail­ing the use of con­sent de­crees, cour­tap­proved deals be­tween the Jus­tice Depart­ment and lo­cal gov­ern­ments that cre­ate a road map of changes for law en­force­ment and other in­sti­tu­tions.

The move means that the de­crees, used ag­gres­sively by Obama-era Jus­tice Depart­ment of­fi­cials to fight po­lice abuses, will be more dif­fi­cult to en­act.

Ses­sions had sig­naled he would pull back on their use soon af­ter he took of­fice when he or­dered a re­view of the ex­ist­ing agree­ments, in­clud­ing with po­lice de­part­ments in Bal­ti­more, Chicago and Fer­gu­son, Mo., en­acted amid a na­tional out­cry over the deaths of black men at the hands of of­fi­cers.

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