A service of Salisbury University and University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Maryland Lawmakers Oppose Delay in Baltimore Consent Decree

official photos

BALTIMORE, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers say they have written to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and asked him to rescind a request the Justice Department made to delay police reforms.

The letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and congressmen Elijah Cummings, Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes, who said they object to the Justice Department's request.

The agency asked a Baltimore judge to postpone a hearing on a proposed agreement to overhaul the Baltimore Police Department.

The Justice Department says it wants a 90-day delay in order to re-evaluate the agreement and determine whether it will hinder efforts to fight violent crime and the new focus of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The lawmakers said they want to work with the Justice Department "to rebuild public trust in the Baltimore Police Department through these much-needed and long-overdue reforms."

Police Commissioner

Credit official photo
official photo
Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis

Meanwhile, Baltimore's police commissioner says they're "ready to roll" with a proposed overhaul of the troubled department despite the Department of Justice's request.

Commissioner Kevin Davis said at a news conference Tuesday that the department knows it must get better and a consent decree will make the department better.

Davis says the department can enact reforms itself, but change won't come at the pace that it is needed without such an agreement. He says a consent decree makes sure change happens no matter who is running the city or department.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.