A federal judge this morning denied the request of the City of New Orleans to delay implementation of the consent decree over the city’s police department.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration had tried to delay the decree, while the judge simultaneously weighs the city’s request to toss the whole decree out.
But Judge Susie Morgan ruled this morning that the city can no longer dither on moving forward with the mandated reforms. She wrote that the city failed to show how implementing the decree now would cause “irreparable harm.”
“The city and the NOPD must comply with the U.S. Constitution and laws of the United States,” Morgan wrote. She noted that any and all reforms will certainly cost money.
The city argued that the Justice Department misled the city and that the consent decree would be a huge financial hit to the city, especially amid a battle over another consent decree concerning the city’s prison. Landrieu has said the city doesn’t have the tens of millions of dollars to fund both matters.
The city’s request to vacate the decree altogether remains a pending matter. Morgan touched upon this in her most ruling, noting that the city “has not made any showing whatsoever that it is likely to succeed” in its attempt to toss the decree out.
The Department of Justice has another week to respond to the city’s allegations. And after that, Morgan will weigh the matter and make a ruling.