Statement Regarding DOJ motion to delay consent decree hearing

April 3, 2017

Statement Regarding the U.S. Department of Justice Request to Delay the Consent Decree Public Hearing Regarding Baltimore Police Reform

For immediate release: April 3, 2017

Contact: Meredith Curtis Goode, media@aclu-md.org

The following can be attributed to David Rocah, Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU of Maryland:

“Why is everyone in Baltimore ready to move forward with police reform except Donald Trump's Department of Justice?  The Trump administration’s move to put off a long-planned public hearing, where the court was going to hear directly from Baltimore residents about their views of the Baltimore Police Department, and the necessity of a consent decree as part of the reform process, is a slap in the face to the people of Baltimore.  And it is a clear sign that the Trump administration is seeking to undo, and walk away from, the consent decree that is a critical part of reforming Baltimore’s police department.  Such an action by the DOJ would be literally unprecedented in our nation’s history, and would be a gross abdication of the DOJ’s responsibility to ensure that police in Baltimore, and around the country, act within the bounds of law.  Even more disturbing, the DOJ filing suggests that there is some fundamental incompatibility between addressing longstanding patterns of police misconduct and public safety.  This view is not only wrong but dangerous.  As city leaders in Baltimore have recognized, reforming unconstitutional and abusive policing is a necessary part of keeping Baltimore’s residents safe. The ACLU of Maryland is fully committed to working with partners and communities to realize police accountability and reform. The time is now to move forward. This can't wait. Not this time."

###