Real public safety for all requires community control of police. That is why when the ACLU helped pass the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021, a key component of the law required all counties and Baltimore City to establish a Police Accountability Board (PAB) and Administrative Charging Committee (ACC). But in order for PABs to do their jobs, they must have independent investigatory powers.
Now, along with 100+ partners in the Maryland Coalition for Justice and Police Accountability (MCJPA), the ACLU of Maryland is working to ensure that the local PABs have the power and funding they need to start to realize community control of the police.
Unfortunately, despite strong community support, research, and best practices showing that independent investigatory powers are critical to community oversight board, no PABs in Maryland have this authority now. Currently, PABs and ACC’s are relying solely on internal police investigations when conducting reviews and deciding whether or not to charge an officer.
That is why the ACLU and our partners in MCJPA are strongly advocating for state legislation to award these powers to PABs around the state.