Maryland Coalition for Justice and Equality to hold Press Conference

February 26, 2015

Media Advisory for Thursday, Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. ET

 

Press Contact: Meredith Curtis, ACLU, media@aclu-md.org, 443-310-9946

Annapolis, MD - The Maryland Coalition for Justice and Equality will hold a press conference ahead of the State Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee hearings at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26, in support of efforts in the Maryland General Assembly to curb police brutality and to ensure that law enforcement officials suspected in cases of misconduct and police brutality are held accountable through implementation of Senate Bills 566, 482 and 653. Furthermore, legal analysts, civil rights advocates, and the families of victims of police brutality will speak on the need to reform the Maryland Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights (LEOBR).

Senate Bill 566 seeks to amend LEOBR to ensure greater accountability and transparency. Two of the changes include: abolishing the “10 Day Rule” which prevents an officer suspected of a crime from being interrogated for up to 10 days following the incident, preventing timely updates to the families of victims and the general public; and the requirement that claims of police brutality must be brought within 90 days and notarized restrictions not placed on other complaints, and which create barriers to accountability. MCJE calls for both the dismantling of special treatment for officers suspected of misconduct and the removal of arbitrary restrictions and burdens placed on victims of police brutality. MCJE supports measures to increase the powers of civilian review boards and other investigative bodies of police misconduct in Maryland.

Senate Bill 482 calls for the regulation of police body camera use. MCJE applauds efforts to increase police accountability in Maryland, and believes that the adoption of police body cameras, in tandem with regulations balancing an individual's right to privacy, is a step in the right direction.

Senate Bill 653 would authorize the State Prosecutor to investigate the deaths of any individuals who died either through the actions or the omissions of a police officer. MCJE strongly supports this measure, and believes that the independence and credibility of the State Prosecutor’s office will lead to fair trials and justice for the families of victims of police brutality.

WHAT: Press conference hosted by the Maryland Coalition for Justice and Equality in support of SB 566, SB 482 and SB 653.

WHO: Coalition leaders, Community Members, Victims of Police Misconduct
Sponsors of SB 482 include State Senator Victor Ramirez, State Senator Richard Madaleno, State Senator Karen Montgomery, State Senator Jamie Raskin, and State Senator Steve Waugh. State Senator Anthony Muse sponsored SB 653 and State Senator Lisa Gladden sponsored SB 566.

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. ET

WHERE: House Office Building, Room 170, 6 Bladen St., Annapolis.

The Maryland Coalition for Justice and Equality formed in 2014 to address issues affecting minority communities in Maryland. The coalition focuses on four core issues; addressing police brutality, higher education, minority business enterprises, and foreclosures. The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, CASA de Maryland, the State Conference of NAACP Branches, Prince George’s People’s Coalition, Black Church Center for Justice and Equality, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition, and the Montgomery County Young Democrats are all proud members of the the Maryland Coalition for Justice and Equality.

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