We are encouraged by the sweeping police reform legislation passed in Maryland, which will institute a more robust use of force standard, put into place more stringent hiring and decertification rules, and repeal the state’s Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights, which has served as an impediment to police accountability for close to 50 years. We fervently hope these changes will prevent future violence like the kind responsible for the death of Anton Black, the young man who died in the hands of Maryland police in 2018, and whose name one of the reform bills bears. We hope these changes allow the people of Maryland to hold their police officers accountable.
However, you cannot be alive and awake in America today without seeing that the problems with our nation’s 18,000 police departments run deep — which means the solutions must be equal in scope, up to the task of transformation. Maryland has made significant progress toward ensuring its police departments reflect the needs and values of the people they serve. We look forward to seeing other states follow suit.