Ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a final memo to limit federal oversight of police forces accused of abusive and unconstitutional conduct on his way out the door.
Signed Wednesday, Sessions’ last day in office, and published by the Justice Department late Thursday, the memo expands the criteria under which the DOJ will enter court-enforced “consent decrees” with police departments to change their policies and break patterns of misconduct. It is no longer enough to establish the department has repeatedly engaged in unconstitutional behavior, and decrees which are approved will have a sunset provision of three years or less.
“This memo seals Sessions’ legacy as an obstructionist when it comes to advancing justice, promoting reform, and protecting the rights of victims of discrimination,” said Kristen Clarke of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Under the Obama administration, the DOJ entered consent decrees with police in places like Ferguson, Missouri, after the death of Michael Brown, and Baltimore, Maryland, after the death of Freddy Gray.
Sessions has a long record of opposing criminal justice reform efforts. As attorney general he pushed for longer prison sentences, increased civil asset forfeiture, and sought to do away with a policy implemented by the Obama administration that allowed states to legalize marijuana without significant oversight or interference by federal law enforcement. Bonnie Kristian
Source : theweek