Remember Consent Decrees?

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Oh hey, remember this from 2018?

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has drastically limited the ability of federal law enforcement officials to use court-enforced agreements to overhaul local police departments accused of abuses and civil rights violations, the Justice Department announced on Thursday….The move means that the decrees, used aggressively by Obama-era Justice Department officials to fight police abuses, will be more difficult to enact. Mr. Sessions had signaled he would pull back on their use soon after he took office when he ordered a review of the existing agreements, including with police departments in Baltimore, Chicago and Ferguson, Mo., enacted amid a national outcry over the deaths of black men at the hands of officers.

It’s not just tweets and rhetorical bluster that separate the Obama and Trump administrations. It’s true that law enforcement is primarily a local issue, but there are still real, concrete things that federal agencies can do. In this case, the Obama administration did them and the Trump administration rolled them back.

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