Sep 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

DOJ to set new rules for federal police department monitors

Attorney General Merrick Garland speaking at a press conference
Attorney General Merrick Garland speaking at a press conference. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Monday that the Department of Justice will implement new rules for federal monitors charged with overseeing mandated police reforms.

Why it matters: The DOJ is currently pursuing "pattern or practice" investigations into police misconduct at the Phoenix, Louisville and Minneapolis police departments.

The big picture: If the investigations show that those city police departments engaged in patterns of discrimination or excessive force, the federal government could intervene with a consent decree that sets out reforms to follow, according to The Washington Post.

  • Such monitoring has in the past drawn complaints for being costly and time-consuming, writes the Post.
  • Garland said the Justice Department intends to adopt 19 steps to increase the "efficiency and efficacy" of the consent decrees and monitorships.
  • The steps include budget caps to contain costs, barring monitors from serving more than one jurisdiction at a time, and term limits.
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