Cities Don’t Want Justice Department to Back Off Police Reforms

In Nation
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The Justice Department is having second thoughts about forcing Baltimore to reform its police force, with new Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying he isn’t sure the federal government should be overseeing local cops.

That skepticism may also extend to Chicago, which is negotiating a legal settlement with the DOJ over systemic abuses by police.

The problem with this new approach, outlined in a recent staff memo and court filing, is that many of the people who live in these cities want the feds keeping an eye on cops.


Baltimore and Chicago both suffer from a long, painful legacy of distrust between the public and police. Both reached tipping points in 2015: first in Baltimore, which erupted in riots following a man’s death in police custody, then in Chicago, when the city released a video showing an officer shooting a 17-year-old boy to death.

Police investigate the shooting death of 14-year-old Tommy McNeal on Sept. 20, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. McNeal was one of at least 3 killed and about 30 wounded by gunfire in the city in the past 24 hours.