NEW ORLEANS -- The U.S. Department of Justice fired back Wednesday at Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration, saying the consent decree over the police department should not be postponed any longer.
Federal prosecutors claim the city’s argument to void the mandated police reforms is weak, according to a court motion filed Wednesday evening.
“The people of New Orleans have been seeking police reform for decades and should not have to pay the price of the city’s latest attempt to stall true reform,” attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice wrote.
The court filing is the latest salvo in the now contentious back-and-forth between the city and the feds.
Last week, the city asked U.S. District Court Judge Susie Morgan to toss out the pending consent decree over the police department. The city claimed the feds acted in "bad faith," misled the city on several issues related to the consent decree, and has a “pattern of misrepresenting facts.” City attorneys cited the role of disgraced former prosecutor Sal Perricone and financial issues, among other claims.
The DOJ, in its latest filing, noted that it will soon respond in further detail to each of the city’s claims.
The feds noted that Landrieu’s administration has not shown any evidence that it has corrected the NOPD’s patterns of constitutional violations.
Further, the city’s argument for vacating the decree relies on “entirely unsupported theories that are at odds with the facts and have no basis in law," the filing states.
In July, Landrieu and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced they had reached an accord over the landmark set of police reforms. But the accord has spoiled recently, with the feds pushing a separate, unrelated consent decree over the city’s jail and Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s office.
Landrieu has said the cost of these reforms is an undue burden.
Morgan has yet to rule on the city’s motion.