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Jeff Sessions ordered a Justice Department review of proposed police reforms

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered the Justice Department on Monday to review proposed police reforms with departments across the country, The Washington Post reports.

The review is intended to ensure that reform agreements don't violate the Trump administration's goals of keeping officers safe and promoting their morale. 

This memo came shortly before Justice Department lawyers asked a federal judge to postpone a Baltimore Police Department reform plan hearing for months. 

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Thursday, March 2, 2017. Sessions said he will recuse himself from a federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 White House election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

“The Department is working to ensure that those initiatives effectively dovetail with robust enforcement of federal laws designed to preserve and protect civil rights," DOJ lawyers wrote in their Baltimore filing. 

Police reform advocates like Jonathan Smith of the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs called the move "terrifying."

"This raises the question of whether ... the Department of Justice is going to walk away from its obligation to ensure that law enforcement across the country is following the Constitution," Smith told the Post. 


Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said delaying the reforms could "erode the trust" the city is trying to forge between law enforcement and residents.

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FILE- In this March 31, 2016, file photo, Baltimore Police Department Officer Jordan Distance stands on a street corner during a foot patrol in Baltimore. Baltimore police officers routinely discriminate against blacks, repeatedly use excessive force and are not adequately held accountable for misconduct, according to a harshly critical Justice Department report being presented Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Baltimore's reforms drew attention after a scathing Department of Justice report under the Obama administration that found "systemic deficiencies" leading officers to use excessive force.

Jeff Sessions ordered a Justice Department review of proposed police reforms

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