As your Wonkette reporter in Baltimore, I may have used a touch of inflammatory language toward Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday. In my own defense, the Baltimore Uprising/Riot was incredibly traumatic for the city. When you're known worldwide for The Wire and Homicide, it's easy to get used to having 300 murders a year. We can fight about whether it should be called a riot or an uprising, but either way, it forced us to look hard at things we'd just taken for granted as background noise.

This level of violence is not okay. It just can't be normal.

Over the past year, the city and the police department have negotiated in good faith to try to dig us out of this hole. Things really are getting better. The Sessions Justice Department attempted to torpedo the Consent Decree at the eleventh hour as a signal to Republicans that it supports law enforcement over the interests (and lives) of the citizenry. It had nothing to do with the welfare of our city.

Today, Judge James K. Bredar signed the Consent Decree, giving it the force of law.

The case is no longer in a phase where any party is unilaterally entitled to reconsider the terms of the settlement; the parties are bound to each other by their prior agreement. The time for negotiating the agreement is over.

Our citizens will be able to bring violations to the federal court for enforcement. In other cities, Sessions will probably succeed in killing Consent Decrees begun under the Obama Justice Department. Their citizens will have the uphill climb of bringing individual lawsuits.

No one thinks this Consent Decree will solve all our problems. But at least it reorients the police department and the city toward community policing and respect for all our citizens. It's a start.

To paraphrase Big Papi Ortiz, "This is our fucking city, Hon!"


[Baltimore SunConsent Decree / Judge Bredar's Order / Wonkette]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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