House Workgroup Approves Police Reform Recommendations for 2021 Legislative Session

At the final meeting of the House Workgroup on Police Reform and Accountability members voted on a package of recommendations to be pursued in the 2021 session. 

The workgroup continued where they last left off and finished voting on police reform recommendations for the 2021 legislative session.  As previously reported on Conduit Street, the workgroup discussed and voted on more than a handful of recommendations at their October 8 meeting and held voting on a couple of recommendations for this final meeting.

An article in The Baltimore Sun highlights the group’s notable vote to repeal the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBR):

Thursday’s move appeared to be the first time a group of Maryland lawmakers endorsed repealing the law. The law spells out the disciplinary process for police, including affording officers accused of misconduct a five-day window before they must speak with investigators.

The vote was split, with nine Democrats voting in favor of repealing the law and four Republicans and one Democrat opposed.

The Washington Post provided additional insight into the members’ votes:

Several of Thursday’s votes on use-of-force recommendations were unanimous. Others, including the ban on chokeholds, a restriction on the use of no-knock warrants and criminal penalties against officers who violate the use-of-force standards, were along party lines.

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.

For more information:

Meeting Agenda and Materials

Maryland House work group recommends ditching state’s Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (The Baltimore Sun)

Md. House work group votes to propose banning chokeholds, restricting no-knock warrants (The Washington Post)

Previous coverage from Conduit Street:

House Police Reform Workgroup Begins to Vote on 2021 Legislative Recommendations

House Police Reform Workgroup Discusses Possible Recommendations for 2021 Session

Law Enforcement Briefs House Police Reform and Accountability Workgroup