House Workgroup on Police Reform and Accountability begins work on developing recommendations for the 2021 session as each member shares their thoughts on what’s necessary to see addressed moving forward.
In her opening remarks, Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary, Chair of the Workgroup and Vice-Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, reiterated why the workgroup was created and its specific charge which was stated as:
- Review policies and procedures related to the investigations of police misconduct including the Maryland Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights statute,
- Determine the viability of uniform statewide use of force policies and arrest procedures,
- Review the use of body cameras and release of body camera footage, and
- Identify national best practices of independent prosecution of law enforcement crimes.
And so after over 14 hours of informative briefings over the interim from nearly 100 members of the public and a long list of presenters including representatives of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NSCL), Maryland State Conference NAACP, Amnesty International USA, Public Justice Center, American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, Chiefs of Police Association, Sheriffs Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Department of State Police, Maryland Troopers Association, and State Law Enforcement Officers Labor Alliance, the workgroup began work on developing possible recommendations.
Chair Atterbeary provided a list of potential topics for discussion including accountability, body cameras, community oversight, de-certification, independent investigations, independent prosecutions, mental health, police discipline, recruitment, training, and use of force but broadly opened the floor for the workgroup members provided their thoughts on what issues they would like to see addressed during the upcoming session. Future meetings will be spent narrowing down their thoughts into specific recommendations.
The bi-partisan Workgroup on Police Reform and Accountability, chaired by House Judiciary Committee Vice-Chair Vanessa Atterbeary, has been charged by Speaker Adrienne Jones to meet over the summer to prepare legislation for the 2021 General Assembly session.
The meeting was streamed live and a recording may be found on YouTube. The next meeting is scheduled to be held Thursday, October 8 at 1:00 pm.
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Previous coverage from Conduit Street:
Law Enforcement Briefs House Police Reform and Accountability Workgroup
Advocates, Public Provide Input to House Police Reform Workgroup
Workgroup Hears National Perspectives on Police Reform and Accountability