Attorney General Jeff Sessions Orders Review of Police Consent Agreements

Apr 5, 2017

Some 25 investigations of police departments were opened by the Obama administration, accusing certain jurisdictions of racial bias in police work. These were often precipitated after high profile shootings of young blacks, many of which were unarmed.

During confirmation hearings Senator Sessions, vowed to review consent agreements forced upon some big city police departments, accusing the Obama administration of “unfairly maligning all police” because of the excessive force used by a few. Consent decrees are court-enforced reforms that are agreed upon between the DOJ Civil Rights and a city when investigators say they have discovered a "pattern or practice" of unconstitutional policing by a department.

Civil libertarians, however, are even more concerned about the high percentage of police officers who use unjustified lethal force are never sanctioned by either police or the courts when civil suits are brought against them. The courts have a history of granting “qualified immunity” to almost every police action, even when wrongful death is determined.