Police reform in wake of last summer’s George Floyd killing takes center stage in hearings at Maryland legislature

Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — Hearings were held at the State House in Annapolis Wednesday on police reform, arising from the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis last summer.

Maryland lawmakers are considering changes to current law on a broad range of issues such as “qualified immunity” for police officers, standards for wearing body cameras, mental health evaluations for officers, and whether or not school resource officers (SRO’s) are needed when teachers and administrators are capable of enforcing discipline in and around the classroom. Montgomery County Delegate Gabriel Acevero (D) has been reviewing data from the state Department of Education.

“I understand this is an emotional issue on both sides,” said Acevero, “but I think as public policymakers we have a responsibility to wrestle with the data and make decisions based on that data.”

Reform advocates say that too many police investigations are shrouded in secrecy and police departments across Maryland need to rebuild the public trust.

House Speaker Adrienne Jones (D – Baltimore County) convened working groups last summer to begin considering this legislation for the current session of the General Assembly. Consulting with her were Jerry Greenfield and Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream fame, who have been on a national crusade for police reform since the George Floyd killing.

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