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WASHINGTON—Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Justice’s announcement yesterday of its consent decree with the city of Baltimore to reform its police department’s discriminatory and unconstitutional practices and its release of a report on the Chicago Police Department:
“We applaud the Department of Justice’s handling of its investigations into the Baltimore and Chicago police departments’ patterns of biased, overzealous, and unconstitutional policing. The Baltimore consent decree announced yesterday will help to put in place policies and practices that will ensure all Baltimore residents are treated fairly by the city’s police department.
Healing communities that have lost faith in those charged with the responsibility to protect and serve takes time. This consent decree will help to ensure that the city of Baltimore can begin this process. It will create the foundation for the long-term, sustainable reforms that will help to restore the community faith in law enforcement that is so critical to building safe communities.
Today’s release of the Department of Justice’s Chicago findings is just the latest example of a nationwide problem in policing that demands a comprehensive approach to reform at the federal, state and local levels. We must continue to use every tool at our disposal to build police departments that preserve the sanctity of life and protect all people equally. It is our hope that the Chicago Police Department will work with the community and the Department of Justice to reach an agreement around necessary reforms.”
Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.
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