Activist use of consent decrees to police enforcement of the law and will be under Trump, Sessions

March 11, 2015: Police form a line outside the Ferguson Police Department as well as people protesting in Ferguson, Mo. Earlier in the day, the resignation of Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson was announced in the wake of a scathing Justice Department report.

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

For the last eight years, the Ministry of Justice has requested the reform of the police practices considered to be discriminatory by any means necessary – something that is often associated with the use of a legal weapon that is little known by the public, and even less well understood.

The ministry of justice of the so-called “consent decree” was established in the aftermath of the Los Angeles Rodney King riots, and it allows the department’s Civil rights Division to sue the local police who have found a “pattern and practice” of violating the rights of people or the use of excessive force.

“One of the most dangerous, and rarely discussed, exercises of raw power is the issuance of expansive court,” Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama wrote in the preface to a 2008 report from the Alabama Policy Institute. “Consent decrees have a profound effect on our justice system, as they constitute an end run around the democratic process.”

The way in which the decree works is this: The ministry of justice to start an investigation into a police-led operations, often after a high-profile incident – such as the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and Laquan McDonald in Chicago.

If the fbi find that the departments work with a continuous pattern of abuse, they sue, effectively allowing the law enforcement groups to establish themselves on the issues and undergo a change to their culture to an extent deemed sufficient by the court and the ministry of justice.

Expand / Contract

The former US minister of justice Eric Holder regarded his initiative with the civil rights division the “crown jewel” of the Ministry of Justice.

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Under President Barack Obama and his two attorney general, Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder, nearly two dozen investigations have been initiated against various law enforcement agencies, many of which are still open. That number is not far from the norm for the federal authority, similar to the number of investigations that were launched under the Bush administration.

Obama’s Department of Justice has issued nearly four times the amount of the consent decree as his predecessor.

Sen. Sessions believes that consent decrees are “dangerous” is more than a passing interest, as he has been tapped by the President-elect Donald Trump to be replaced Lynch as attorney general, so that the activist attitude of the current government is likely to end on Jan. 20.

“I think that he follow the law,” J. Christian Adams, election law expert and chairman of the public Interest Legal Foundation, told “That he will not abuse of the federal government. I think that he is not law enforcement in an exercise in grandstanding.

“In other words, he will not behave like his previous two predecessors.”

A lot of of the Holder on the efforts of his six years in the post were spent on the reconstruction of the Civil Rights Division, repeatedly calling the federal agency’s “crown jewel.”

A report from the u.s. department of justice overview of the distribution of the performance during Obama’s first term, reports the record number of “court enforceable agreements” that led to six jurisdictions — New Orleans, Seattle, Puerto Rico, East Haven in Connecticut, the state of Arizona, Maricopa County and Alamance County, N. C. address policing problems.

“For the current Ministry of Justice, our commitment to strengthening – and to fulfilling our nation’s promise of equal opportunities and equal rights has never been stronger,” Holder is quoted as saying in the summary.

Some of the more recent agreements, such as the Baltimore and Ferguson Police, better known to the public, but others are not and many are not yet at a resolution.

Of the 19 studies that have been conducted since 2010, six are considered to be “underway.” These include:

Expand / Contract

Incoming Attorney General Jeff Sessions has long been a critic of the Holder of the policy.

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

– A December 2015 investigation into allegations of excessive force and discriminatory policing in the Chicago Police Department after a black teen Laquan McDonald was shot dead by an agent. The incident led then-Director Garry McCarthy to resign after documents that are relevant to the case were suppressed.

– An investigation into the Orange County, CA, Sheriff’s Department for violation of the fair trial. The probe started in December 2015, after years of numerous allegations that the prosecutors and the deputies are abusing their power to lock beliefs.

– A case has been opened in April, 2015, at the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Ville Platte Police in Louisiana regarding the alleged improper use of detention, and violations of the Fourth Amendment.

According to the LA Times, civil rights advocates are bracing for the division to have a more limited role in the coming years.

“Jeff Sessions has a decades-long record of his early days as a prosecutor to his current role as a senator – against the civil rights and equality,” Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, told the Times. “It is inconceivable that he could be entrusted to serve as the main official of the law enforcement for this nation’s civil rights laws.”

Others believe that the Sessions that will restore professionalism in the Ministry of Justice.

“He will restore the honour of a department that under President Obama, continued to push for a political agenda, while the company to enforce the law,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) told the newspaper. “It is time to put an end to the politicisation of the Ministry of Justice and to begin to defend the rule of law.”

Perry Chiaramonte is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter via @perrych

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular