DOJ Has A Plan To Run Local Agencies Forever

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has been revealing its new strategy for consent decrees. Rather than finding full and effective compliance and ending federal oversight, DOJ is planning to keep local police departments under perpetual federal control.

Seattle, Portland and Albuquerque have been working under DOJ consent decrees for many years. Since the for-profit monitors are refusing to find the agencies in compliance, DOJ has been offering cities a “consent decree lite” option. If the City agrees to continue the consent decree indefinitely, then DOJ will agree to remove some of the provisions and requirements of the settlement agreement. However, the for-profit monitors will remain forever and they must be paid for by local taxpayers.

DOJ wants to appoint a permanent “independent monitor” to watch over all aspects of the Portland Police Department. Essentially the monitor would be running the department. DOJ has no authority to do this, but since the City agreed to a consent decree more than a decade ago, if the City refuses to hire a permanent monitor then the full consent decree will go on indefinitely.

The only way out of a consent decree is to never agree to one in the first place. DOJ now has Minneapolis, Louisville and Phoenix in their crosshairs.

If the Mayors of these cities agree to sign a consent decree, they will be handing over control of their police departments and their community’s public safety to DOJ attorneys, federal judges and for-profit monitors.

All it will take is for one city to say no to DOJ, and the entire consent decree house of cards will come crashing down.