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Press Release

Statement of Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the District Court's Entry of Baltimore Consent Decree

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Attorney General Sessions released the following statement on the District Court’s entry of the Baltimore consent decree:

“Today, a federal court entered a consent decree that will require the court and a highly-paid monitor to govern every detail of how the Baltimore Police Department functions for the foreseeable future. This decree was negotiated during a rushed process by the previous administration and signed only days before they left office. 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.

“Make no mistake, Baltimore is facing a violent crime crisis.

“Baltimore has seen a 22 percent increase in violent crime in just the last year. While arrests in the city fell 45 percent based on some of these ill-advised reforms, homicides rose 78 percent and shootings more than doubled. Just in 2017, we’ve seen homicides are up another 42 percent compared to this time last year. In short, the citizens of Baltimore are plagued by a rash of violent crime that shows no signs of letting up.

“The mayor and police chief in Baltimore say they are committed to better policing and that there should be no delay to review this decree, but there are clear departures from many proven principles of good policing that we fear will result in more crime. The citizens of Baltimore deserve to see a real and lasting reduction in the fast-rising violent crime threatening their city.

“The Department of Justice stands ready to work with Baltimore to fight violent crime and improve policing in the city.”

Updated April 7, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-370