Media Contact

Meredith Curtis Goode, media@aclu-md.org, 443-310-9946

September 20, 2018

MEDIA RELEASE

ACLU Blasts Attorney General Sessions for Dangerous Lies about DOJ’s Consent Decree with Baltimore Police Department

BALTIMORE – In a speech on Wednesday before a group of law enforcement trainees where he shamefully blamed civil rights groups for the rise of violence in several major cities, Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrongly stated that the consent decree put in place in 2017 to reform the Baltimore Police Department was between Baltimore City and the ACLU. The truth is that the consent decree is between Baltimore and his own Department of Justice; it was signed during his administration.

Attorney General Sessions also shamefully fails to recognize the gross, long-standing violation of rights perpetrated by BPD – documented in the DOJ’s own report – or to acknowledge how the rampant criminal actions of BPD’s Gun Trace Task Force against City residents fomented violence and drug wars for years.

The following can be attributed to Dana Vickers Shelley, Executive Director of the ACLU of Maryland:

“The people of Baltimore deserve more than to be scapegoated by the federal government official whose sole responsibility is to protect the Constitution and protect all of our rights. Shamefully, our country’s highest-ranking law enforcement officer, Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, is pulling straight from Trump’s playbook: Outright lying and ignoring the facts that his own department pursued, negotiated and now manages the consent decree. He’s wrong and he knows he’s wrong. Sessions's dog whistle politics invokes the decades old “law and order” trope to stir up the conservative base, wrongfully brandishing civil rights organizations like the ACLU and Black Lives Matter, who fight for fair, constitutional treatment, as the perpetrators of crime. We reject the cynical, dangerous, and racist idea that requiring the police to not assault, steal from, and racially profile Black and Brown people somehow makes America less safe.”

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