Judge approves Baltimore police-abuse settlement

A federal judge in Maryland has approved an agreement aimed at reforming the Baltimore Police Department, but the Trump administration said it still believed the deal would make the city less safe.

The agreement, which was initially filed eight days before former President Barack Obama left office in January, will implement a number of oversight measures for the Baltimore Police Department following a Justice Department report last year that found that serious deficiencies in the department’s conduct.

But U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said his concerns about the agreement remained.

“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,” he said.

The Trump administration had asked the judge to put off deciding whether to approve the measure for 30 days, after Sessions said he would conduct a sweeping review of settlements such as the one in Baltimore. Sessions has been critical of federal police-abuse settlements, saying that local authorities should not cede control over the resolution of those complaints.

U.S. District Court Judge James Bredar, an Obama-appointed judge, called the agreement “fair, adequate and reasonable” in his ruling issued Friday.


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