Media Contact

Meredith Curtis Goode, ACLU of Maryland,

October 15, 2020

ANNAPOLIS, MD – As the Maryland General Assembly workgroup on police reform and accountability gets closer to deciding its recommendations for the 2021 legislative session, the Maryland Coalition for Justice and Police Accountability is making clear that it is necessary to pass legislation to repeal of the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights (LEOBR), to reform Maryland’s Public Information Act, and to only allow use of force when absolutely necessary (demands listed below).

The following can be attributed to the Maryland Coalition for Justice and Police Accountability:

“There have been demands made of the legislature on the issue of police accountability for many years that have been met with tremendous resistance from elected leaders. In the midst of the social unrest of the past few months, several demands have emerged as a consensus among those of us that have been pushing for true police accountability. Chief among these demands are changes to the Maryland Public Information Act that would disclose police investigatory records, and repeal of the Law Enforcement Officer Bill of Rights, which essentially allows police to police themselves.

“If the workgroup does not address these two important policy issues, it will be an example of the Maryland General Assembly’s unwillingness to enact meaningful police accountability. It is clear that the last police accountability workgroup session is using a leadership-centric style of policy making that has historically impeded genuine progress on policing. We urge the General Assembly to follow the lead of legislative champions on police reform issues, instead of offering a big leadership bill approach to this session.”

5 Necessary Police Reforms in Maryland

A large, diverse coalition of over 85 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.

85+ Organizations Calling for Police Reform Include:

85+ Organizations Calling for Police Reform Include:

Advocates for Children and Youth
ACLU of Maryland
ACLU of Maryland, Montgomery County Chapter
Amnesty International
Annapolis Human Relations Commission
Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) Alliance
Baltimore Action Legal Team
Baltimore County Youth Speaks
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 and Peace Committee at St. Ignatius Catholic Church
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