Media Contact

Meredith Curtis Goode, ACLU of Maryland,

September 21, 2020

Full Page Ads in the Afro, Washington Post, and Baltimore Sun Call on Maryland Legislators to Pass 5 Specific Reforms

Policing in Maryland is Broken

ANNAPOLIS, MD – As Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee hearings begin this week on policing, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland is running full page ads in the Afro American Newspaper, the Washington Post, and the Baltimore Sun making clear that the package of reforms that have been announced by Chairman Will Smith do not go nearly far enough to protect Black lives and rights in our state.

The following can be attributed to Yanet Amanuel, Public Policy Advocate for the ACLU of Maryland:

"The package of reforms that have been announced do not represent the collective thinking of advocates who have been engaged in this work for many years, and more importantly, does not represent individuals whose lives and loved ones have been impacted dramatically by the deep flaws in our current system of law enforcement. Chairman Smith, as the point person of this process, did not make space for a collaborative approach to the layout of these hearings. As a result, most of these bills miss the point. Some bills are fine, some are meaningless, and others are just bad. But in their entirety, they miss the point: Power over law enforcement must shift into the hands of the community. We must end the practice of police policing themselves. Anything that doesn't achieve that is insufficient.”

5 Necessary Police Reforms in Maryland

A large, diverse coalition of over 75 groups from across the state are calling on Maryland legislators to support strong, renewed demands for police reform and accountability. Following the police killing of George Floyd and the national outcry that followed, and the continued police killing of Black Marylanders, elected leaders have issued countless statements, social media posts, and other expressions of solidarity with Black Marylanders who have suffered police abuse. Now, legislators must act on those words and pass at least five impactful police reforms during the next Maryland General Assembly Legislative session:

  1. Repeal in full the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights.
  2. Reform the Public Information Act to allow disclosure of all complaints of police misconduct.
  3. Establish a statewide use of force policy that will prevent officers from using force unless it is necessary.
  4. Remove school resource officers from schools.
  5. Return control of the Baltimore City Police Department to Baltimore City residents.

Organizations Calling for Police Reform Include:

Advocates for Children and Youth
ACLU of Maryland
ACLU of Maryland, Montgomery County Chapter
Amnesty International
Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) Alliance
Baltimore Action Legal Team
Baltimore Bern Unit
Baltimore City Civilian Review Board
Baltimore for Border Justice
Be More Unified
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Office in Maryland
Caucus of African-Americans Leaders
Citizens Policing Project
Coalition for Justice for Anton Black
Coalition of Concerned Mothers
Coalition of people Opposed Violence and Extremism
Common Cause Maryland
Community Actively Seeking Transparency (C.A.S.T.)
Disability Rights Maryland
Do the Most Good
Drug Policy Alliance
For Kathy’s Sake
FreeState Justice
Greater Baltimore Democratic Socialists of America - Steering Committee
Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association
Homeless Persons Representation Project
Innocence Project
InterFaith Action for Human Rights
Jews United For Justice
Job Opportunities Task Force
Justice Policy Institute
Law Enforcement Action Partnership
Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle
League of Women Voters Maryland
LGBTQ Dignity Project
Life After Release
Making Changes
Mama Sisterhood of Prince George’s County
March for Our Lives Maryland
Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform
Maryland Center on Economic Policy
Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition
Maryland Justice Project
Maryland Poor People’s Campaign
Maryland Prisoners’ Rights Coalition
Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative
Maryland State Conference of NAACP Branches
Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence
Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition
Montgomery County Democratic Socialists of America
Mothers on the Move
NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
National Coalition for Drug Legalization
Nigerian American Lawyers Association-Washington DC Chapter
Office of the Public Defender
Organizing Black
Our Maryland
Our Prince George’s
Our Revolution Maryland
Out For Justice
Planned Parenthood of Maryland
Power Inside
Prevent Gun Violence Ministry, River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Prince George’s People’s Coalition
Prisons to Professionals
Progressive Maryland
Public Justice Center
Racial Justice NOW!
Rebuild, Overcome, and Rise (ROAR) Center at UMB
Reproductive Justice Inside
Sanctuary DMV
SEIU 1199
Showing up for racial justice Annapolis and Anne Arundel county (SURJ3A)
Showing Up for Racial Justice, Baltimore
Showing Up for Racial Justice, Montgomery County
Sierra Club Maryland Chapter
Silver Spring Justice Coalition
Takoma Park Mobilization
West Wednesdays
Wicomico County NAACP Branch 7028
Women’s Law Center


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