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The Latest: Judge blocks request to delay police hearing

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Latest on a request from the U.S. Justice Department for more time to “review and assess” a proposed agreement to overhaul the Baltimore Police Department (all times local):

3:55 p.m.

A federal judge has denied a request from the U.S. Justice Department to postpone a hearing on an agreement to overhaul the Baltimore Police Department.

The Justice Department filed a motion earlier this week to push back the hearing, scheduled for Thursday, until June. The department said it wanted time to review the plan and determine whether the proposal would hinder efforts to fight violent crime.

U.S. District James Bredar rejected the request Wednesday, saying in his order that pushing back the hearing “at the eleventh hour” would be a “burden and inconvenience to the court, other parties, and most importantly, the public.” He says the hearing had been jointly requested by the Justice Department and the city.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment on the order.

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9:05 a.m.

Baltimore officials are telling a federal judge they want to move forward with a plan to overhaul the city’s troubled police department despite a Justice Department request to delay it.

The Justice Department on Monday asked the judge overseeing the plan, called a consent decree, to postpone for 90 days a hearing scheduled for Thursday. The department asked for more time to see how the proposed changes might conflict with the aggressive crime-fighting approach new Attorney General Jeff Sessions favors.

On Tuesday, city officials told the judge in a court filing that they oppose a 90-day extension to the hearing. Officials wrote that a postponement of the hearing “at this late date, would inconvenience many, and would only serve to undermine, not build, public trust in the reform process.”

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