Sessions orders review of federal agreements on local policing, seeks delay in Baltimore case
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has called for a review of Department of Justice agreements with local police departments in a memo declaring that it’s not the federal government’s job to police local law enforcement.
“The misdeeds of individual bad actors should not impugn or undermine the legitimate or honorable work that law enforcement officers and agencies perform in keeping American communities safe,” the memo read.
The Obama administration had investigated police practices in about two dozen cities and reached consent decrees to reform 14 police departments, according to the Times. Court approval would be needed to reverse consent decrees that were already given court approval.
Vanita Gupta, the former DOJ official who had negotiated the Baltimore consent decree, told the Times that it’s unclear whether Sessions could withdraw the agreement, which has not yet received judicial approval.
Sessions’ memo, she said, “signals an alarming retreat away from ensuring that police departments engage in constitutional policing.”