TAKE ACTION: Tell the Baltimore City Council to stop the forced silence policy

Survivors of police brutality and their familes, community leaders, and local organizations are demanding that Baltimore City end its gag order policy. A serious violation of free speech, Baltimore City requires a mandatory “non-disparagement” clause -- on all individuals who settle police misconduct claims. The “non-disparagement” clause otherwise known as a gag order -- silences survivors of police abuse from talking about what happened to them with the public, including members of the press. Baltimore City is one of the few jurisdictions in the country that has the practice of requiring gag orders to settle police misconduct cases. This policy is a choice: Baltimore city does not have to silence police abuse survivors. 

What’s the Problem?

·   Baltimore City officials require survivors of police brutality to sign “gag orders” banning them from telling their own stories in order to resolve their cases.

·   Millions of taxpayer dollars are used to stop Baltimore residents from talking about the abuse police officers have committed against them and their families.

·   This is a systemic problem in Baltimore City that deeply harms women and communities of color.

What are our Demands?

  1. Baltimore City bill to end non-disclosure agreements – “gag orders” – when the City Law Department settles cases of police abuse, sexual harassment, and other forms of unlawful discrimination.  
  2. Makes null & void all past gag orders in settlements of police misconduct, sexual harassment, and other unlawful discrimination cases.

"If your voice held no power, they would not try to silence you. Use your power. Speak up!"

ASHLEY OVERBEY UNDERWOOD, who is challenging Baltimore’s gag order policy, represented by ACLU of Maryland