• Pam Beidle

Statement on the muder of George Floyd

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Statement on the muder of George Floyd

Over the past days and weeks, I have heard from many constituents, voicing their anger, outrage and sadness at the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the culture of police brutality that has long been ignored in our county. We are seeing protests throughout the U.S., including right here in Anne Arundel County because people are sick and tired of reading the same headlines and hearing the same rhetoric with no action ever being taken to address systemic racism and policing.

I hear you and I am sad and angry too. As your State Senator, I will listen to the diverse voices of District 32, and work with my colleagues in the General Assembly to create concrete policy solutions allowing all Marylanders to feel safe in our community. I have learned that Senator Will Smith, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee is already working on legislation that will change how police officers perform their duty all over our State. Below I’ve included brief outlines of Senator Smith’s policy proposals that will be introduced in the next General Assembly Session.

Disclosure of Officer Personnel Records

Provide that a complaint, investigation record, hearing record, and disciplinary actions are not personnel records and are subject to the Maryland Public Information Act when the complaint, record, or action relates to the discharge of a firearm, use of deadly force, or for an investigation for sexual assault, dishonesty, discrimination, or improper use of force

- Enable non-law enforcement public officials to participate in review and disclosure of past complaints

- Require law enforcement agencies to submit annual reports to the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission (MPTSC) on use of force complaints. Require MPTSC to report this data to the Maryland General Assembly

Use of Force

Ban chokeholds and strangleholds, require de-escalation, require warning before shooting, exhaust all other means before shooting, create a duty to intervene and stop excessive force by other officers, ban shooting at moving vehicles, require use-of-force continuum; and, require comprehensive reporting each time an officer uses forces or threatens to use excessive force

Excessive Force Bystander Intervention

Require local departments to adopt policies requiring officers to intervene whenever they witness another officer using excessive force.

Independent Investigator for Police Violence

Establish an official in the Office of the Attorney General authorized to prosecute all cases in which the police kill or seriously injure a civilian, in-custody deaths and cases where a civilian alleges criminal misconduct against a police officer

Adjust Liability Caps for Acts of Police Violence

Prohibit liability for acts of police violence from being subject to a municipalities’ liability cap, encouraging police departments to avoid actions that will increase government insurance premiums

Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights

Eliminate the five-day waiting period before an officer involved in an underlying incident can be interviewed.

Training

- Require MPTSC to establish implicit bias training requirements and best practices, including shoot/don’t shoot decision making

- Require MPTSC to establish de-escalation and minimized use-of-force best practices

- Require MPTSC to develop a protocol for utilization of implicit bias data in the hiring process, LEO certification, and performance evaluations

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Authority: Friends of Pam Beidle, Leonard W. Beidle, Treasurer.