BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — Shock at City Hall, after the Justice Department puts the brakes on an agreement to transform the Baltimore City Police department. The reforms to address long-standing civil rights violations under covered after the death of Freddie Gray.
Baltimore’s mayor and police chief worked closely with Justice Department investigators to scrutinize the city’s police force and embraced a plan they crafted to overhaul the troubled department.
They were surprised by the Justice Department’s sudden request Monday for more time to see how the proposed changes might conflict with the aggressive crime-fighting approach new Attorney General Jeff Sessions favors.
Sessions has repeatedly expressed doubt whether government-mandated police reforms work.
Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis believed the proposed agreement would repair public trust in the police while also quelling violence.
They swiftly voiced their opposition to the requested delay, and pledged to press ahead with the business of transforming the police department, with or without a court-enforceable consent decree.