Judge allows termination of Detroit Police Department's federal oversight

DETROIT – Federal Judge Avern Cohn has allowed the federal government to terminate an 11-year-old agreement with the Detroit Police Department to reduce excessive force and make other improvements.

The government says the city is in compliance. A hearing was held Monday morning in federal court.

Before the 2003 agreement, the U.S. Justice Department said it found constitutional violations within the department. Between 1995 and 2000, police killed nearly 50 people, including six people who were unarmed and shot in the back. Nineteen people died while in custody.

A court-appointed monitor has been watching the department during the consent agreement.

The government says it still will keep an eye on Detroit police by reviewing internal audits, offering technical assistance and making on-site visits.

"(They have) entered a new transition agreement that will give the Justice Department another 18 months to make sure that the changes are sustained," said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQaude. "And the other significant fact about the transition agreement is it will give us the chance to focus on some qualitative aspects like community trust, which is perhaps the most important aspect to effective policing."

McQuade spoke during a news conference Monday morning. She was joined by Detroit Police Chief James Craig, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, Rev. Wendell Anthony and Melvin Butch Hollowell, who is Detroit's corporation counsel.