The following statement can be attributed to Sergio España, Director of Engagement and Mobilization:
“Amid a nationwide reckoning about police violence and senseless killings of Black people, Baltimore police report their overnight shooting of a young man whose family called for medics and the police came instead. In Maryland, this has become a disturbingly familiar pattern – where officers called to assist someone in mental distress instead trigger a crisis, failing to see the person’s humanity and shooting instead of helping. This latest incident further points out how Baltimore’s over-dependence on police is setting them up to fail, and costing unnecessary lives. The BPD must release the full body camera footage and there must be a full, transparent investigation, with details about how the investigation is handled released to the public.
“This is why the ACLU of Maryland and more than 60 other organizations across the state are demanding that the Law Enforcement Bill of Rights be repealed. Under LEOBOR, it is almost impossible to hold police officers accountable for misconduct and excessive use of force. This is why the groups are also calling for return of the Baltimore Police Department to the control of the residents of Baltimore City, so there is local control over policies on creating and calling for a crisis support team to be used in mental distress calls, instead of just armed police, and to control use of force policies and practices to avoid unnecessary injury and death. And this is why we are calling for reform of the Maryland Public Information Act to allow transparency to the public about investigations into police misconduct and brutality.
“These demands must be met. State Legislators can't post statements about #BlackLivesMatter and then not pass police reforms that begin addressing the systemic problems in police which devalue Black lives and the lives of people with mental illnesses. #BlackLivesMatter”