Jan 13, 2017

Mayor Catherine Pugh talks about the consent decree reached between the city and the U.S. Department of Justice. She's flanked by Police Commissioner Kevin Davis and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Credit P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Shortly after the Justice Department and Baltimore City officials announced they’d reached a legal contract to reform the city police department Thursday the police union complained they were left out of the negotiations.

But Friday a DOJ spokesperson contradicted those claims.

The spokesperson said in an email the department had solicited input and "carefully considered" reform suggestions from the union as well as from community groups.

The contract, or consent decree, stems from a scathing Justice Department report last summer that found a systematic pattern of unconstitutional policing.

Mayor Catherine Pugh, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and others unveiled it at a news conference Thursday morning. Among other things, it calls for increased training for city police officers and improved oversight of sexual assault investigations.

That afternoon, Gene Ryan, president of the FOP, tweeted, "Despite continued assurances by representatives of the Department of Justice that our organization would be included in the Consent Decree negotiations, no request to participate was ever forthcoming and we were not involved in the process."

The DOJ spokesperson said in an email the decree reflects the union’s input, but that negotiations to finalize the decree included only the parties involved in the case – that is, Baltimore city and the Department of Justice.

The agreement has been sent to U.S. District Judge James Bredar, who is expected to hold a public hearing.