As His Final Move in Office, Jeff Sessions Limits Use of Court Settlements to Reform Rotten Police Departments

As one of his final moves in office before resigning Wednesday, outgoing Attorney General Jeff Sessions severely limited the Justice Department’s ability to enter into court-enforced decrees to reform police departments that have shown a pattern of civil rights violations.

Sessions signed a memo, released by the Justice Department Thursday night, putting in place three new requirements for the department to enter into a so-called consent decree—a settlement between the Justice Department and a local government or agency, monitored for compliance by a judge, that stipulates how it will correct civil rights violations or other issues.