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Friday, January 13, 2017

Last of its kind?

DOJ has entered into a consent decree with the Baltimore Police Department in a § 14141 action. As with many of the consent decrees we have seen from the Obama DOJ, it requires extensive changes to department policies and practices with respect to use of force, community engagement, and respect for the rights of people to speak and protest in public and to observe and record police activity. It also requires development of new practices with respect to transporting persons in custody and dealing with people with behavioral disabilities.

The question is whether this is the last such consent decree we see for awhile. Jeff Sessions does not appear to see systemic unconstitutionality in state and local police departments, nor does he appear to believe that the federal government and federal courts should oversee the operations of local agencies. It is unlikely that whoever Bush Trump appoints to head the Civil Rights Division will take a much different view of the matter. Extensive use of consent decrees through § 14141 is not in the Republican playbook--the Bush DOJ brought few civil actions and entered few consent decrees, preferring to engage in informal negotiations and letters of agreement, a less-adversarial/more-cooperative approach that does not necessarily produce as comprehensive reforms.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on January 13, 2017 at 12:28 AM in Civil Procedure, Constitutional thoughts, First Amendment, Howard Wasserman | Permalink

Comments

"Whoever Bush appoints to head the Civil Rights Division"? You wish...

Posted by: If only | Jan 13, 2017 2:09:27 AM

Changed. An interesting mistake . . .

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Jan 13, 2017 6:09:53 AM

Without a doubt, the cookie-pusher lawyers employed by the Obama regime have nothing of value to teach the police and will undertake actions which will make our world less just and less orderly.

Posted by: Art Deco | Jan 13, 2017 2:31:55 PM

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