WASHINGTON—Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement following U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar’s approval today of a consent decree between the city and police department of Baltimore and the United States government:
“Today’s order by Judge Bredar entering the consent decree agreed to by the Baltimore Police Department and U.S. Department of Justice is a victory for constitutional policing. We applaud Judge Bredar for rejecting Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ attempts to delay the consideration of this important agreement. While there was a change in the political leadership of the Justice Department, there has been no change in the vital need for reform in Baltimore. Indeed, the Justice Department previously released a report documenting the Baltimore Police Department’s widespread and deeply troubling record of race-based policing.
In the wake of Judge Bredar’s order today, we urge Attorney General Sessions to faithfully implement this consent decree and to reconsider his flawed belief that such agreements compromise public safety. On the contrary, consent decrees are a critical tool in establishing trust between police departments and the communities they serve. More broadly, consent decrees have long been a vital mechanism in the enforcement of civil rights across the board, and the Sessions Justice Department must honor existing decrees and pursue new ones where appropriate.”
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is 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.