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Court seeks public comment on Baltimore Police consent decree

Court seeks public comment on Baltimore Police consent decree.

U.S. District Court Judge James K. Bredar has set a March 7 deadline for written comments from the public regarding the Baltimore Police consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice, according to an order filed Wednesday.

Bredar's order also formally sets an April 6 date for a hearing at the U.S. District Courthouse on Lombard Street at which the public can offer commentary on the agreement.

Comments must be limited to whether the agreement is "fair, adequate, and reasonable and is not illegal, the product of collusion, or against public interest," the order says.

The city and federal government struck an agreement last month on the consent decree, which will eventually lead to a court monitor overseeing reforms to the Police Department. Those reforms are the result of a review by the Justice Department that found widespread civil rights violations being committed by police.

Both sides asked for Bredar to allow the public to weigh in on the agreement before approving it.

Bredar's order directs anyone wishing to comment in writing on the consent decree to submit their comments by March 7 to Baltimore.consent.decree@usdoj.gov, or hand deliver or mail to the United States Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section, at 950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20530.

Submissions should be limited to no more than 10 pages.

The public fairness hearing will be held at the U.S. District Courthouse on April 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

jfenton@baltsun.com

twitter.com/justin_fenton

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