LDF Provides Feedback on Monitor Candidates in Baltimore

Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) offering input on the selection of an independent monitor who will oversee the implementation of the January 2017 consent decree between DOJ and Baltimore city officials aimed at remedying findings of widespread and longstanding unlawful policing practices by the Baltimore Police Department (BPD). The federal court ordered a 30-day comment period during which members of the public can provide feedback on the 26 applicants who are vying for the monitor position.

LDF’s letter outlines five key qualities that the independent monitoring team must possess in order to ensure all reforms are put in place in a timely and sustainable manner, including:

  1. A diverse makeup that reflects the Baltimore community;
  2. Personal or professional connections to Baltimore and a balanced representation of Baltimore residents and law enforcement among team members;
  3. Experience in the key issue areas detailed in the consent decree, including monitoring; biased policing reform, civil rights, data analysis, and school police;
  4. Independence from any local, state, and federal governments, with no actual or perceived conflicts of interests; and
  5. Willingness to commit several team members to monitoring the consent decree full time.

LDF’s letter also proposes that DOJ, BPD, and city officials add a week-long public comment period following the open forum with the five finalists for the monitor position on August 17, so that Baltimoreans can comment on the finalists before the parties make a recommendation to the court. The independent monitor and his or her team will play an essential role in ensuring that the reforms laid out in the agreement are implemented and institutionalized, and it’s vital that Baltimoreans voices are heard as much as possible during the monitor selection process.

Read LDF’s letter to DOJ

Read LDF’s one-page summaries of the 26 applications for the monitor position

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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.