WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law issued the following statement following U.S. District Judge James Bredar’s approval of the consent decree for the Baltimore Police Department:
“We are pleased that Judge Bredar has approved the consent decree that will help place the Baltimore Police Department and city residents on a path towards long overdue reform. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s efforts to unnecessarily obstruct and delay reform in Baltimore, make clear that he intends to stand as an obstacle to policing reform across the country. The implementation of the consent decree for the Baltimore Police Department will be closely watched and may serve as a model of reform for other similarly-situated police departments across the country. Today’s decision is a victory for the people of Baltimore who have been subject to unconstitutional policing practices including, excessive force, for far too long.”
In the last 8 years, the Justice Department opened investigations into 25 law enforcement agencies in the U.S., an infinitesimal share of more than 18,000 such offices across the country. This tiny number represents police departments that require federal oversight to achieve meaningful reform. Baltimore is such a police department.
About the Lawyers’ Committee:
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Formed over 50 years ago, we continue our quest of “Moving America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and community development; employment; voting; education; environmental justice; and criminal justice. For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.