A U.S. judge decided to sign a huge overhaul of the Baltimore police department that would focus on better training and preparation, after serious allegations about harassing minorities turned out to be true. This was signed just two days after the Trump administration asked the judge to postpone signing this until the state and federal government can make sure that this new training won’t hinder efforts to prevent crime in Baltimore.
The Freddie Gray case was one of those that pushed the Baltimore judge to sign the new decree. What this means for residents in terms of crime, of course, only statistics can tell us in the future. But any educated projections can tell you that an overhaul of the police department will cause things to slip underneath the cracks. Once the changes are implemented the police department won’t be following standard procedure, but rather, the new ‘politically correct’ procedure, which could cause a spike in crimes.
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“There must be effective and constitutional policing in order for the City of Baltimore to thrive,” Bredar wrote.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said his department “stands ready” to work with Baltimore to fight violent crime, but the “rushed process” in which the decree was negotiated left it with “clear departures” from how police should do their jobs.
“While the Department of Justice continues to fully support police reform in Baltimore, I have grave concerns that some provisions of this decree will reduce the lawful powers of the police department and result in a less safe city,” Sessions said in a statement.
The attorney general had on Monday ordered a sweeping review of similar decrees with police departments nationwide.That alarmed civil rights advocates worried that Sessions and Trump, who emphasized law and order in his White House run, might retreat on efforts to curb police abuse.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh in a statement said her city’s decree will aid in “building the bond of trust that must exist between the community and our police officers.”
The decree followed Justice Department findings that Baltimore’s 2,600-member police department regularly violated African-Americans’ civil rights, including through strip searches, unlawful stops and excessive force.
Close to two-thirds of Baltimore’s roughly 615,000 residents are African-American.
Gray’s death was one of several incidents in the last few years in U.S. cities, such as Ferguson, Missouri, that sparked racial tensions and a nationwide debate about law enforcement.
Baltimore’s police chief at the time of Gray’s death was dismissed by Pugh’s predecessor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Six officers were charged in the death, but none was convicted.