Police Practices

Police officers have a unique role and position within our society. They have the vital and difficult job of protecting public safety, but they also must perform their duty without sacrificing civil liberties. The ACLU of Maryland works to ensure that police officers do their jobs without violating individuals’ constitutional rights.  We work  to promote police accountability and oversight, while educating Marylanders about their rights in police encounters.

Recent Activity

Appeals Court Reinstates ACLU Challenge to State Police Secrecy in Racial Slur Case

News article, October 10, 2014

Police cannot refuse to let the public see records about how they are policing themselves

read more >>

ACLU Applauds Prince George's County for Ceasing to Honor ICE Holds Without a Warrant

News article, October 1, 2014

Calls on other Maryland counties to reform ICE detainer policies

read more >>

ACLU Seeks Answers to Unanswered Questions about Baltimore's Expanded Curfew Plans

News article, August 7, 2014

Group files public information request for copies of policies and directives to police officers

read more >>

Montgomery County Council Urges State to Decriminalize Possession of Marijuana Paraphernalia

News article, July 8, 2014

Representatives of Maryland's most populated county say possession of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia should be among its lowest law enforcement priorities

read more >>

ACLU raises constitutional problem with detention centers

News article, June 10, 2014

Courts find holding individuals solely on immigration detainers raises Fourth Amendment concerns

read more >>

Civil Rights and Youth Groups Offer Alternative to Proposed Curfew Expansion

News article, May 29, 2014

Alternate plan promotes safety of Baltimore youth without risking the criminalization and unintended consequences of an expanded curfew

read more >>

ACLU Weighs in on Baltimore Police Taser Policies

News article, May 27, 2014

Letter highlights key recommendations from 2009 Task Force on Electronic Weapons report

read more >>

Juvenile Curfew

Legal case, May 15, 2014

Extreme, far-reaching juvenile curfew in Baltimore City

read more >>

ACLU Raises Concerns with Far-Reaching Youth Curfew Proposal in Baltimore City

News article, May 12, 2014

Courts around the country have struck down as unconstitutional less extreme curfews laws

read more >>

Bills to Decriminalize Marijuana, Limit Location Tracking and License Plate Readers, and Restrict Shackling of Pregnant Inmates

News article, April 14, 2014

Governor O'Malley signs five ACLU priority bills into law

read more >>

Maryland Committee Passes Amended Bill to Create a Marijuana Task Force

News article, April 2, 2014

House Judiciary Committee failed to approve common sense proposal to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

read more >>

NAACP, ACLU Call on Chairman Vallario to Allow Vote on Marijuana Decriminalization

News article, March 31, 2014

New ACLU polling in several House Judiciary Committee members' districts shows majority support for marijuana policy reform

read more >>

ACLU of Maryland Executive Director to be Inducted into Maryland Women's Hall of Fame

News article, March 20, 2014

Ceremony at the Governor's Mansion in Annapolis

read more >>

Landmark Settlement in Challenge to Man’s Wrongful Detention, Camera Seizure at Preakness

News article, March 12, 2014

Police to Adopt Model Policy, Institute New Training, Apologize for Incident, Pay Substantial Settlement Amount

read more >>

Campaign Launched to Regulate and Tax Marijuana Like Alcohol in Maryland

News article, January 16, 2014

State lawmakers, state and national groups join together to support a legal marijuana market for adults

read more >>

Privacy Legislative Agenda Put Forward by Senators Raskin, Shank

News article, January 14, 2014

Bills Will Address Email Surveillance, Location Tracking, Drones, and Automatic License Plate Readers

read more >>

ACLU of Maryland Announces 2014 Legislative Priorities

News article, January 8, 2014

Issues include taxing and regulating marijuana, stopping local police from enforcing civil immigration detainers, limiting email and cell phone surveillance, and ending the shackling of pregnant women.

read more >>

Wrongful Nuisance Abatement Actions in Hyattsville

Legal case, December 18, 2013

Prince George's County State's Attorney wrongfully forced two women to sign “nuisance abatement” orders banishing their family members from their own homes and the neighborhood in which they had grown up. The ACLU is urging the prosecutor to dissolve the orders and call off longstanding harassment by police claiming to enforce the orders so the families can be reunited without fear that they will be arrested or that they could lose the homes they own.

read more >>

ACLU Demands Prince George's State's Attorney Allow Women to Reunite with Family Members In Misuse of "Nuisance Abatement" Law

News article, December 18, 2013

Group Asks that Families be Allowed to Spend the Holidays Together

read more >>

ACLU Calls on Baltimore Police to Monitor Use of "Stop and Frisk" Tactics

News article, November 19, 2013

Group releases troubling BPD data on search results

read more >>

Report: Immigration Detainers Undermine Public Safety Through Unnecessary Enforcement

News article, November 19, 2013

ACLU will support "Maryland TRUST Act" legislation in the 2014 Session

read more >>

In Every County, Black People More Likely to be Arrested for Marijuana Possession

News article, November 7, 2013

New report details growing marijuana arrest rates, even as support for decriminalization grows

read more >>

ACLU, CASA Urge Police to Change ICE Warrant Policies

News article, September 26, 2013

Recent court ruling bans arrest by local law enforcement

read more >>

Illegality of "stop and frisk" practice by police not addressed by name change

News article, September 24, 2013

ACLU public information request seeks answers about Baltimore Police stops and searches without reasonable suspicion.

read more >>

ACLU Releases License Plate Scanner Documents

News article, July 17, 2013

Maryland Documents Show Over 85 Million Scan Records in 2012

read more >>

ACLU of Maryland Applauds Passage of Immigration Reform In Congress

News article, June 27, 2013

Group Thanks Sen. Cardin for Leadership in Attempting to Make the Bill More Just, Humane

read more >>

ACLU Report on Racial Disparities in Marijuana Arrests

News article, June 4, 2013

Report Show Black People 3 Times More Likely to Be Arrested for Marijuana than White People, Despite Equal Usage Rates

read more >>

ACLU statement on Supreme Court decision on warrantless collection of DNA

News article, June 3, 2013

Ruling eliminates individualized suspicion safeguard for police searching for evidence of crimes

read more >>

ACLU Seeks to Add Former Anne Arundel Police Chief Teare as Defendant in "Enemies List" Lawsuit

News article, April 30, 2013

Audio Tapes Released by the County Reveal Teare's Involvement, Compilation of Dossier on Karla Hamner

read more >>

ACLU Calls for Immigration Reform that Respects the Civil Rights of All

News article, April 19, 2013

Breakthrough legislation in need of improvement

read more >>

ACLU Files Information Requests on Immigration Detainers

News article, April 15, 2013

Group also seeks to educate corrections officials on civil liberties concerns with immigration detainers

read more >>

No Drones Without a Warrant

News article, March 18, 2013

Bill would prohibit Maryland law enforcement from using drones to gather evidence without a warrant

read more >>

Federal Court Rebukes Baltimore Police Lawyers for "Veritable Witch Hunt"

News article, March 8, 2013

$1,000 Fine Ordered Paid to Man Harassed for Recording Police Incident at Preakness

read more >>

ACLU Opposes Cell Phone Tracking Bill

News article, February 5, 2013

Legislation Would Set Too Low A Standard for Police Obtaining Personal Information

read more >>

High Court Rejects Maryland State Police Effort to Block Disclosure of Records on Racial Profiling Complaints

News article, January 24, 2013

MSP must turn over records pertaining to racial profiling complaints under the state's public information law

read more >>

ACLU Lawsuit Challenges, Demands Full Accounting of Leopold's "Enemies List"

News article, December 12, 2012

Group Represents 11 Individuals Targeted in Dossiers and Illegal Criminal Database Searches

read more >>

Ending the federal 287(g) program in MD

Legal case, November 28, 2012

ACLU calls on congressional leaders to ask DHS to end 287(g) program in Frederick County

read more >>

Maryland DNA collection of arrestees

Legal case, November 27, 2012

ACLU raises privacy, Fourth Amendment concerns about DNA collection without a warrant upon arrest

read more >>

Court Hearing in Maryland State Police Racial Slur Case

News article, October 3, 2012

ACLU of Maryland is asking the Court of Special Appeals to overturn a lower court ruling permitting the department to shield all records of complaint investigations from public scrutiny.

read more >>

I'VE ASKED FOR MY DATA - WHAT ABOUT YOU?

News article, August 3, 2012

Today at the ACLU of Maryland, we are taking our data back and we want you to join us.

read more >>

Automatic License Plate Readers

Legal case, July 30, 2012

ACLU Seeks Details on Automatic License Plate Readers in 
 Massive Nationwide Request

read more >>

ACLU Seeks Details on Automatic License Plate Readers in 
 Massive Nationwide Request

News article, July 30, 2012

Info Sought on How Cameras are Used by 
Police Agencies and How Data is Stored

read more >>

ACLU: You have the right to record police actions

News article, July 23, 2012

DOJ Guidance Could Make Maryland a National Model for Protecting Citizens' Rights to Record Official Actions

read more >>

Supreme Court Decision on Arizona Law Shows Maryland Was Right to Reject Anti-Immigrant Provisions

News article, June 25, 2012

Tide Has Already Turned in Maryland against "Show Me Your Papers"

read more >>

Leopold Employees Improperly Accessed Data

News article, June 5, 2012

Criminal History Databases Were Accessed to Gather “Enemies” Information

read more >>

ACLU Appeals Ruling In State Police Racial Slur Case

News article, May 24, 2012

Public Has a Right to Know about Handling of Citizen Complaints, Group Says

read more >>

Baltimore Police Department Fails To Comply with Illegal Arrests Settlement

News article, April 30, 2012

Independent Auditor Report Reveals Refusal to Provide Arrest Info and More

read more >>

Illegal Arrests Lawsuit Against Baltimore Police Department

Legal case, April 26, 2012

ACLU works to ensure that reforms are fully implemented in the Baltimore City Police Department

read more >>

ACLU Speaks Out Against Arrest, Handcuffing of Young Children at Baltimore School

News article, March 30, 2012

BPD's actions are appalling and in violation of state regulations on school arrests

read more >>

ACLU Condemns Chief's Silence, Demands Criminal History Logs Related to Leopold's "Enemies List"

News article, March 28, 2012

Group Also Files New Info Requests with County for Annapolis Mayor, Delegate Dwyer, and More

read more >>

ACLU Speaks Out on AA County Police Chief Teare's Refusal to Testify

News article, March 22, 2012

The Council and voters have a right to know

read more >>

ACLU Calls for State Audit of Crime Database Use in Anne Arundel County

News article, March 20, 2012

Group wants to know if information in the database was inappropriately accessed and disseminated

read more >>

Leopold "Dossiers" Reveal Illegal Political Opposition Research, Potentially Illegal Use of State Crime Database

News article, March 15, 2012

ACLU to File Additional Information Requests on Behalf of Other Potential Victims

read more >>

Anne Arundel County Executive Leopold's "Enemies List"

Legal case, March 7, 2012

ACLU files public information requests, demands full investigation after County Executive is indicted.

read more >>

2012 Legislative Priorities

News article, January 11, 2012

Issues Include Marriage Equality, Criminal Justice Reform, Social Media Privacy

read more >>

ACLU Sues Baltimore Police Over Man’s Wrongful Detention, Camera Seizure at Preakness

News article, August 31, 2011

read more >>

Sharp v. BCPD

Legal case, August 30, 2011

Concerned that the Baltimore City Police Department routinely violates the First Amendment by threatening citizens who try to photograph or record police encounters, the ACLU of Maryland filed a lawsuit against BPD on behalf of Christopher Sharp.

read more >>

ACLU of Maryland to Testify Against Proposed Juvenile Curfew in Montgomery County

News article, July 26, 2011

read more >>

ACLU of Maryland stands up for youth and parent rights in Montgomery County juvenile curfew controversy

News article, July 22, 2011

read more >>

ACLU Calls on Maryland Transit Authority to Cease Unconstitutional Harassment of Photographers

News article, June 1, 2011

read more >>

ACLU of Maryland Speaks Out in Support of Montgomery County Resolution Against Anti-Immigrant Program

News article, April 26, 2011

read more >>

ACLU To Testify in Support of Legislation Requiring Detailed Reports of Taser Use

News article, February 24, 2011

read more >>

Dashiell v MSP: ACLU seeks public information about police racial slur complaint

Legal case, March 2, 2010

Appeals Court earlier ruled that MSP should produce investigatory records concerning racial profiling complaints

read more >>