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2 Civil rights groups alarmed over retreat on police reforms The Egalitarian

Wednesday April 5, 2017

Civil rights groups reacted

Errin Haines Whack & Sadie Gurman Associated Press

with alarm Tuesday, while law enforcement organizations expressed relief, after the Trump administration signaled it may back out of federal agreements that compel several police departments around the U.S. to curb racial bias and excessive force. In a memo made public this week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review of all Justice Department consent decrees that force police departments to overhaul their practices, saying, “It is not the responsibility of the federal government to manage nonfederal law enforcement agencies.” Consent decrees, which are enforceable by the courts, were put in place by the Obama Justice Department in such racially fraught cities as Cleveland and Ferguson, Missouri. A decree worked out under the Obama administration is awaiting approval in Baltimore, which erupted in riots in 2015

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over the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. And an agreement is being negotiated in Chicago. NAACP President Cornell Brooks called the move by the Trump Justice Department “somewhere between chilling and alarming.” “Consent decrees are the means by which you provide a hedge of protection, civil rights and civil liberties,” Brooks said. “Why would our attorney general upend and undo that? This review and potential reversal represents a potentially catastrophic, life-ordeath consequence for cities where citizens feel like they’re under siege.” But James Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, welcomed Sessions’ memo as “gratifying.” “If a consent decree is warranted, a consent decree should be imposed,” Pasco said. “But in a lot of places, decrees are punitive in nature and do absolutely nothing to improve the climate of the city.” He complained that consent decrees can make police officers

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Patrick Semansky/AP File Photo A boy sits on a wall as a member of the Baltimore Police Department walks by in the Penn North neighborhood of Baltimore, near the site of unrest following Freddie Gray’s funeral. Baltimore’s mayor and commissioner say they are eager and ready to change not only the culture of law enforcement, but the practice. look like villains, when “the vast majority of police officers are performing heroically every day.” The Sessions memo represents a dramatic break with the Obama administration, which saw the federal government as essential to holding local police departments accountable for unconstitutional practices. Consent decrees have been used to force departments to overhaul training on the use of deadly force and to root out mistreatment of blacks and Hispanics. President Donald Trump has taken an emphatic pro-police, lawand-order stand. And in signaling

a possible retreat from consent decrees, Sessions advanced what has been dubbed the “Ferguson effect” — the unproven theory that heavy scrutiny of police has made them less aggressive, leading to a spike in crime in cities like Chicago. “The misdeeds of a few bad actors should not impugn or undermine the legitimate and honorable work that law enforcement officers and agencies perform in keeping American communities safe,” Sessions wrote in the memo dated Friday. Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, a black man who died after a New York City officer

put him in a chokehold in 2014, expressed frustration over the Trump administration stand, saying, “When all else fails, the federal government is our safety net.” “In a case like this, if we don’t get an indictment, who do we turn to if the attorney general is going to look the other way and say, ‘Hey, it’s not my fight,’” Carr said. The Obama Justice Department opened roughly two dozen investigations of police departments, and 14 of them ended in consent decrees, including in Miami; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Newark, New Jersey.

HCC POLICE BLOTTER (Incidents complied from HCC Crime Log updated daily & available at http://bit.ly/2mhVOjj CENTRAL CAMPUSES

Offense: Graffiti Reported on: March 29 at 9:57 p.m. Location: Central-Midtown Campus, Fine Arts Center Parking Garage Description: Graffiti was found by a patrol officer in a stairwell. Offense: Burglary of Vehicle Incident occurred on: March 28 between 9-11 a.m. Location: Central - South Campus, Willie Gay Hall Description: Student’s vehicle was burglarized after she left her windows down. Property was stolen from the vehicle’s interior. Offense: Disorderly Conduct Incident occurred on: March 27 at 4:50 p.m. Location: Central-Midtown Campus Description: An unknown adult male spit on an employee’s vehicle and used abusive language during a parking dispute. Offense: Burglary of Vehicle Incident occurred on: March 24 between 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Location: Central-Midtown Campus, Parking Lot 9 Description: Unknown suspect attempted to burglarize a student’s vehicle while the student was in class.

Offense: Assault Occurred on: March 22 at 2:45 p.m. Location: Central-Midtown Campus, San Jacinto Memorial Description: Employee’s ex-husband threatened her when he picked up his property from her. The suspect fled before police were notified. Offense: Theft Reported on: March 22 at 5:34 p.m. Location: Central-Midtown Campus, Business Center Description: Unknown male shoplifted food at the bookstore and fled on foot. Offense: Indecency with a Child Occurred on: March 21 at 4:51 p.m. Location: Central - Midtown Campus, Fine Arts Center Parking Garage Description: A 15-year-old female student and a 21-year-old male student were discovered kissing and groping in the Central parking garage stairwell. Prosecution was declined and the minor was turned over to her family.

NORTHEAST CAMPUSES

Offense: Criminal Trespass Incident occurred on: March 28 at 4:08 p.m. Location: Northline Campus, 8001

Fulton Description: Adult males, non-students, were issued a criminal trespass warning after they were found consuming beer on campus. One of the men was a person of interest in another case. Offense: Criminal Trespass Incident occurred on: March 27 at 9:40 p.m. Location: Northline Campus, 8001 Fulton Description: Adult male, non-student, was bathing his genitals at the bus stop. He was issued a criminal trespass warning and escorted from the campus.

NORTHWEST CAMPUSES

Offense: Failure to Stop and Give Information Occurred on: March 22 at 10:1511:50 a.m. Location: Spring Branch Campus Building Description: Student’s vehicle was struck while he was in class. Offense: Burglary of Vehicle Occurred on: March 21 between 5:50-7:40 p.m. Location: Spring Branch Campus Description: After misplacing his car keys, a student’s vehicle was burglarized and his property was

stolen.

SOUTHEAST CAMPUSES

Offense: Criminal Mischief Incident occurred on: March 29 at 7:30 p.m. Location: Eastside Campus, Workforce Building Description: Adult female student was arrested after she dumped a can of soda water over a computer following a disturbance. Offense: Criminal Trespass Occurred on: March 22 at 1:50 p.m. Location: Eastside Campus, Workforce Building Description: Former student was arrested and charged after he returned to campus. He was previously warned not to return to HCC property.

SOUTHWEST CAMPUSES

Offense: Theft Incident occurred on: March 25 between 6-7:00 p.m. Location: Stafford Campus, Scarcella Description: Money was stolen from a student’s unattended backpack.

Profile for The HCC Egalitarian

April 5, 2017 issue of The Egalitarian  

Photo club ventures out to NOLA, The Beautiful Struggle follows student from homelessness to HCC, Astros start season off strong with win in...

April 5, 2017 issue of The Egalitarian  

Photo club ventures out to NOLA, The Beautiful Struggle follows student from homelessness to HCC, Astros start season off strong with win in...