Here is the 227-page consent decree agreement that's been filed for review by a federal judge: bsun.md/2jblefE
Statement from CASA on the DOJ agreement:
CASA applauds Mayor Pugh and the Department of Justice for reaching an agreement that will guide reforms to the city's police department, just days before the Justice Department transitions to the incoming Trump administration.
"The consent decree will be a critical tool toward reforming police culture and systems of accountability in Baltimore," said CASA’s Executive Director Gustavo Torres. "As a community, we have invested in this process and we are hopeful that it will yield the results that the residents deserve."
The resolution came after thousands of city residents provided input and feedback during the extensive DOJ investigation and the department published a lengthy report earlier this fall.
CASA has consistently advocated to ensure a transparent process that included maximum resident input is adopted. CASA hopes the city will continue to advance that agenda as the consent decree moves forward, including a public comment period prior to the judge signing off on the consent decree language and robust community participation from directly impacted communities in the monitor selection process.
"The DOJ findings underscored several points that Baltimore residents have known for a long time,” said CASA’s Regional Director Elizabeth Alex. "We have a long way to go to ensuring real systems of accountability and transparency in our police department and the consent decree will be a strong instrument toward that goal."
As the consent decree moves forward, the City of Baltimore has an opportunity to lead by example, by showing the very transparency and community accountability that the consent decree seeks to achieve in the police department.
Sen. Joan Carter Conway:
“We need to move on, we need to move forward, we need to rectify many of the police abuses,” Sen. Joan Carter Conway, a Democrat and chair of the Baltimore delegation, said of the consent degree.
She said persuading the state to help pay for the DOJ-mandated reforms will be a top priority for the delegation.
Chinedu Nwokeafor, a Morgan State University senior who led protests at the university in the days after Gray’s death, said while the consent decree may contain orders that seem like common sense -- a lack of common sense to call a medic and check on Gray during his van ride is what proved to be fatal.
“If you just look at it at a basic level, there were basic things that weren’t done,” said Nwokeafor, a member of the Morgan group Strong Men Overcoming Obstacles Through Hard Work. “At least now there’s no excuse because there’s a decree. Even though it may seem redundant, that’s a good way for accountability.” -- Justin George
NAACP Legal Defense Fund
"We thank Justice Department and Baltimore City officials for responding to residents’ requests that officials expeditiously, yet thoroughly, negotiate a consent decree to resolve extensive civil rights violations alleged in DOJ’s investigative report. The timely consent decree builds on the momentum and expertise of the parties and city residents who have waited decades for policing reform in Baltimore.
"Recognizing that community feedback and support of the consent decree is vital to its success, Justice Department and City officials have agreed to ask the federal judge assigned to the case to order a public comment period and hearing during which residents and other stakeholders may offer feedback on the agreement. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) welcomes this opportunity and looks forward to partnering with residents to thoroughly review and comment on the consent decree in an effort to support vital policing reforms in Baltimore.
“We are also eager to work with residents, and federal and state officials to identify a trusted and qualified independent team of monitors to oversee the implementation of the consent decree. LDF will continue to build on its work with the community, such as the September 7, 2016 town hall we co-sponsored, at which DOJ lawyers were present, to support members of the community in sharing their perspectives on reform."