The Justice Department motion to delay the Baltimore police consent decree has been denied.
Late Monday just three days before a scheduled public comment hearing, Department of Justice attorneys asked for a a 90-day delay to "review and assess the proposed consent decree."
"I'd like to say I was surprised but I wasn't surprised,” said Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, “I knew this was a possibility that there could be a further delay. The delay, in my opinion is completely unnecessary."
Tuesday, Baltimore City officials filed motion opposing the consent decree delay. In the motion, the city said the postponement undermines the public’s confidence and trust in the reform process.
Mayor Catherine Pugh and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said the city is still committed to reforming the police department, bringing changes that would hold officers accountable for unconstitutional practices and discrimination, along with mandatory police training, increased transparency and reforms to body-worn camera and taser policies.
Several Maryland Democratic congressmen asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to take back his delay request. Baltimore has already amassed more than $12 million to fulfill the consent decree in the next fiscal year.
Wednesday, the Department of Justice said the "government's motion is untimely,"
To postpone the public hearing at the eleventh hour would be unduly burden and inconvenience the court, and other parties, and most importantly, the public. Accordingly, the motion for public fairness hearing is denied.
In a statement Wednesday, Pugh said she was pleased that the request for a continuance was denied.
"The City of Baltimore is ready to move forward to rebuild the important relationship which exists between the community and our police department. The crucial next step of receiving public input occurs tomorrow. I hope citizens will take advantage of this opportunity to have their voices heard. It will take all of us -- City government, the police department, and the families and residents of our great City -- to see this reform process through."
— Brian Kuebler (@BrianfromABC2) April 5, 2017
— T.J. Smith (@TJSmithMedia) April 5, 2017