Baltimore mayor, Attorney General Loretta Lynch to announce consent decree agreement

Posted at 2:58 PM, Jan 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-11 19:20:18-05

Last summer, the Department of Justice released a scathing report on the Baltimore Police Department detailing unconstitutional practices on policing in Baltimore City.

A consent decree now follows, a court ordered agreement on what and when reforms will be made.

The agreement was set for November of last year, but took until Wednesday to finalize.

At a media event Wednesday morning, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said that after another long night of negotiations, an agreement seemed probable.

"Very close,” the mayor said. “There should be a media alert if in fact that is the case sometime today. If that is the case."

It was the case.

Just after 2:30 the mayor's office sent out an alert calling a news conference Thursday morning to release the details of the agreement.

Outgoing Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who just so happens to be in Baltimore for a previously scheduled event, and Pugh will announce the agreement and the court ordered reforms to be applied to the Baltimore City Police Department.

Among them will be many changes already underway.

A body worn camera program and better police training were implemented last year, but it is expected that this agreement will also force the department to track complaints, bad officers and improve stop, search and seizure protocols.

These reforms will be mandated and expensive to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

To that end, Pugh has scheduled a special meeting of the city's spending panel at 9 a.m. Thursday.

While a court order will determine how much money Baltimore will spend on these reforms, the Board of Estimates must allocate the money needed for the signed agreement.

This consent decree comes with just nine days left in President Obama's term.

The concern by many was to try to enact this agreement before both the president and the attorney general step aside for the next administration.

The Justice Department opened an investigation into the city police department in 2015, months after the death of  a 25-year-old black man, Freddie Gray, who was injured in a police van. 

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