The Maryland chapter of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, applaud the Maryland General Assembly for passing a comprehensive package of policing reform bills, HB 670, SB 600, SB 71, and SB 178, known collectively as the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021.
“Police violence is gun violence, and we must strengthen our laws to prevent it — and to address its disproportionate impact on Black and Latino people in Maryland,” said Melissa Ladd, a volunteer with Maryland Moms Demand Action. “We stand with our community partners who have been voicing their outrage for years, and together, we are committed to seeing this legislation advance. We call on Governor Larry Hogan to sign these bills into law immediately to hold law enforcement accountable for misconduct and prevent it happening again in the future.”
The Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 includes numerous measures to prevent police violence and create the transparency and accountability necessary to earn the trust of Maryland communities, including strong statewide standards to prevent the excessive use of force, restricting the use of no-knock search warrants and requiring the use of body-worn cameras.
More information on the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021:
- Repeals Maryland’s so-called Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights, a set of laws that for decades has hindered efforts to hold officers who abuse their authority accountable.
- Establishes a new system for the investigation and imposition of discipline for cases of officer misconduct, one that includes strong civilian oversight, and ensures a system that is transparent, accessible and consistent across the state. It also requires independent investigations into all killings of civilians by police officers.
- Ensures that records relating to police misconduct are accessible to the public, provides early intervention systems for officers whose behavior indicates they might pose a risk of violence, prevents state law enforcement agencies from obtaining military surplus equipment, and provides counseling and employee assistance services for law enforcement officers.
Data from Mapping Police Violence shows that between 2013 and 2020, 144 people were killed by police in Maryland, the majority with guns. Read more about police reform policies here.