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Public comments on consent decree monitor teams due Monday

If you want to weigh in on the applications submitted by more than two dozen teams vying to oversee sweeping police reforms in Baltimore, the deadline to do so is Monday.

Twenty-six teams submitted applications to become the independent monitor last month. The applicants include well-known local figures with experience in local and state government and law enforcement, national consulting firms with experience implementing similar agreements elsewhere, and police chiefs of major cities that have previously undergone the consent decree process.

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The monitor's office will be responsible for managing the day-to-day process of implementing reforms mandated under a federal consent decree between the city and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The consent decree was the result of a wide-ranging Justice Department civil rights investigation ordered after the 2015 death of Freddie Gray from injuries suffered while in police custody. The investigation found that city police had systemically violated the rights of residents, disproportionately targeted African-Americans, stopped people without proper justification and violated people's civil rights.

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Twenty-six teams are vying to be the independent monitor that oversees sweeping changes to the Baltimore Police Department ordered under a federal consent decree. Below are the applications in full obtained by The Baltimore Sun.

According to the terms of the consent decree, the independent monitor is expected to have "expertise in policing, civil rights, monitoring, data analysis, project management, and related areas, as well as local experience and expertise with the diverse communities of Baltimore."

The city's law department and the Justice Department are currently reviewing the applications and are expected to identify finalists by July 21. The finalists will then undergo interviews, and the public will have an opportunity to review the finalist selections and submit comments.

During week of Aug. 21, the city and the Justice Department are expected to recommend one or two finalists to a federal judge, who is overseeing the process.

Comments on the applicants can be submitted via email to Baltimore.Consent.Decree@usdoj.gov or mailed to:

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Puneet Cheema

United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section

950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20530

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