Press Conference to Support Transparency in Police Misconduct Investigations

February 8, 2017

MEDIA ADVISORY

WHAT: Press Conference to Support Transparency in Police Misconduct Investigations.

WHO: Sponsors of SB 362/HB 698, Delegate Erek Barron (D-Prince George's) and Senator Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore City); and representatives from ACLU of Maryland, Coalition of Concerned Mothers, CASA, Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), Jews United for Justice, Prince George's County People's Coalition, the Public Justice Center, and several other organizations. Further details about participating organizations to be confirmed.

WHEN: 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 8, 2017.

WHERE: Neall Conference Room, James Senate Building, 11 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.

FEB 8 at 11 AM: Press Conference to Support Transparency in 
Police Misconduct Investigations

Contacts: Meredith Curtis, ACLU of Maryland, 443-310-9946, media@aclu-md.org
Erika Hernandez, CASA, 301-717-4492, ehernandez@wearecasa.org

ANNAPOLIS, MD - At 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 8, the ACLU of Maryland, Coalition of Concerned Mothers, CASA, Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), Jews United for Justice, Prince George's County People's Coalition, the Public Justice Center, other civil rights organizations and leaders will hold a press conference in support of SB 362/HB 698, a bill that would create transparency for communities regarding police misconduct investigations.

Currently, the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) has been interpreted to fundamentally blocks transparency and accountability regarding police abuse and misconduct by categorizing complaint investigations under "personnel" matters that cannot be released to the public. SB 362/HB 698 would ensure that Marylanders who file complaints against public employees are not barred from learning how the agency investigated their complaint.

Maryland ranks among the least transparent states with regard to police misconduct complaints. Twenty-seven other states make disclosure of complaint files more accessible to the public than Maryland. Even in conservative states like Alabama, Georgia, and Arizona, police disciplinary records are generally available to the public, except in cases of active investigations.

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