FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  

July 31, 2010     

CONTACT: Meredith Curtis, ACLU of Maryland, 410-889-8555;

BALTIMORE - Today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland praised Governor Martin O'Malley for answering our call for a thorough investigation of wrongful spying on peaceful activists and groups by the Maryland State Police with the appointment of former Attorney General Stephen H. Sachs to head an independent investigation.

Mr. Sachs served as Maryland Attorney General from 1980-1988, and has long been a respected voice for the Bill of Rights. The ACLU of Maryland is confident that the Sachs investigation will bring the Free State an important step forward in the effort to bring openness and transparency to the disturbing reports of state police surveillance of protected First Amendment activity, absent any evidence of unlawful behavior or intent whatsoever. We believe that this important investigation of serious infractions of Marylanders' most basic freedoms is now in good hands.

In order to uphold the statutory right of the many individuals and groups who may have been targets of surveillance by the state police, local law enforcement, and federal agents, the ACLU of Maryland intends to file Maryland Public Information Act and Freedom of Information Act requests on behalf of a wide range of advocates in the coming weeks. We will ensure that a full accounting of involvement by local police and federal agents in wrongful surveillance of peaceful activists and groups in Maryland also be brought to light.

Go online to see the MSP documents and read further background about the case: