- Associated Press - Friday, April 14, 2017

DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Board of Police Commissioners has asked U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to keep a court-enforced tool used to overhaul problem-plagued police departments.

Commissioners passed a resolution Thursday urging Sessions to maintain the use of consent decrees for “protection of citizens and their civil rights.” They said consent decrees have had a positive impact on Detroit’s police force, the Detroit Free Press (https://on.freep.com/2oyBnxW ) reported.

“Today, the police department is better organized and provides better service to the community as a result of the reform process initiated and completed in 2016 by the consent decrees,” the resolution said.

The board has supervisory authority and oversight over the city’s police department.

The commissioners said that the City of Detroit and its police department entered into two consent decrees with the U.S. Justice Department in 2003, “to address systemic changes needed for law enforcement, including procedures for police training, the use of deadly force and the process for arrest and detention of suspects.”

Sessions ordered a review in early April of all Justice Department consent decrees with police departments. Detroit police commissioners said Sessions wrongly thinks that federal oversight of police departments is unwarranted.

“His belief ignores facts and evidence that consent decrees do not target a few ‘bad actors,’ but rather departments with systemic and often long patterns of civil rights and other constitutional abuses or ingrained problems that undermine the effectiveness of law enforcement, the strength of police confidence and community relations, and the achievement of justice,” the resolution said.


Information from: Detroit Free Press, https://www.freep.com

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