On July 23, 2020, Seth Rosenthal was quoted in the Baltimore Sun on the Baltimore Police Department’s commitment to reform and its response to demonstrations following the death of George Floyd.
According to the article, nationwide calls to ”defund the police” prompted a federal judge overseeing the Baltimore Police consent decree to state during a hearing that such reform options do not exist in Baltimore. The city had entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department after a DOJ investigation found Baltimore police officers routinely violated residents’ civil rights. U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar doubled down on his support for the city to continue with its years-long reform efforts, which require increased funding and hiring more police officers.
The hearing also touched on the police department’s response to protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Nationwide demonstrations included more than a week of large marches and gatherings in Baltimore following Floyd’s death.
Rosenthal, a member of the monitoring team assisting the department on reforms, said team members were at the department’s command center and on the street during protests. "Generally what we saw was very positive," he said. Officers on the ground and leaders in the command center were able to reduce threats—such as a man carrying a long gun in the crowd—while allowing protests to continue, he said.
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