BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is asking for a more diverse monitoring team to oversee an agreement to overhaul Baltimore’s troubled police department.
Our media partner, The Baltimore Sun reports the legal organization expressed concern that nine members of the proposed 22 on the team that will oversee changes mandated under a consent decree are either current or former law enforcement officials.
Monique Dixon, who is deputy director of policy and senior counsel for the defense fund tells The Sun: “Ensuring Baltimore residents have faith in the independence of the monitor is essential to the reform process, and we are concerned that a heavy law enforcement presence may undermine that confidence.”
The consent decree was the result of a Justice Department report outlining widespread abuse and misconduct in the Baltimore Police Department.
Seattle and Cleveland are both under consent decree agreements as well, however, those teams have a smaller percentage of members who are law enforcement officers.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, along with the police department and DOJ, submitted a joint recommendation of team members last week.
U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar still must approve the team. There is a private meeting scheduled in his chambers Tuesday with the proposed team’s leaders.
According to the consent decree, $1.475 million is being allocated over the three-year term to pay for monitoring compliance.
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