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Maryland Becomes First State to Repeal Police Bill of Rights

Expect the number of police officers in the state of Maryland to decrease significantly. Maryland (Baltimore in particular) is about to become a far more dangerous place. If a government is hostile to law enforcement, crime will always increase. And when crime increases, businesses close and citizens flee.

“The result is a bill that does very little to increase accountability that law enforcement officers deserve and the public should expect,” he wrote. “Instead of a uniform, statewide process of police discipline, this bill would create a patchwork of hundreds of locally devised processes. … The basic due process protections to which police are entitled have been removed. … Our police and our citizens deserve far better. The extreme flaws in this bill leave me no alternative but to veto this bill.”

Related – How Maryland policing laws will change: Here’s a breakdown of the bills the General Assembly has passed

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Maryland becomes first state to repeal police bill of rights

By Washington Examiner, April 11, 2021

Maryland became the first state to repeal its statewide bill of rights for police officers.

The state legislature, controlled by the Democrats, voted to override vetoes that Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, issued against three police reform measures on Friday. After the Maryland House of Delegates overrode Hogan’s veto of House Bill 670 on Friday, the upper chamber followed suit on Saturday, with the state Senate overriding the governor’s vetoes of Senate Bills 71 and 178.

H.B. 670, known as the “Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021,” repealed the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights. S.B. 71, the “Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 — Body-Worn Cameras, Employee Programs, and Use of Force,” implemented a statewide body camera mandate for officers who regularly interact with the public. S.B. 178, or the “Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 — Search Warrants and Inspection of Records Relating to Police Misconduct,” restricted no-knock warrants.

As written, the Maryland Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights is designed “to guarantee certain procedural safeguards to law enforcement officers during any investigation or interrogation or subsequent hearing that could lead to disciplinary action, demotion or dismissal.”

“All sworn members of DGS-MCP will be afforded all the rights and protections under the LEOBR,” the bill of rights, which protects officers’ rights to engage in political activity, bring suit that arises out of the law enforcement officer’s duties as a law enforcement officer, and pursue secondary employment, among other provisions.

The override votes were celebrated by Democratic lawmakers. Del. Gabriel Acevero, who delivered a floor speech in favor of overriding the veto of S.B. 178, nicknamed “Anton’s Law” for Anton Black, a 19-year-old black man who died in police custody in 2018, called Hogan a “coward” for vetoing the legislation.

“Proud to cast my vote in favor of overriding @GovLarryHogan ‘s veto of #AntonsLaw,” he said.

State Sen. Shelly Hettleman said overriding the governor’s vetoes would “ensure safety, accountability & transparency.”

Del. Brooke Lierman said S.B. 71 would “save lives.”

On Friday, Hogan explained the trio of vetoes in a letter addressed to House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson, saying the bills as written undermined the shared goal of “building transparent, accountable, and effective law enforcement institutions,” instead “result[ing] in great damage to police recruitment and retention [and] posing significant risks to public safety throughout our state.”

Hogan condemned the effort to repeal the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights via H.B. 670, saying the proposal “was done in a haphazard fashion with little collaboration from all interested stakeholders.”

“The result is a bill that does very little to increase accountability that law enforcement officers deserve and the public should expect,” he wrote. “Instead of a uniform, statewide process of police discipline, this bill would create a patchwork of hundreds of locally devised processes. … The basic due process protections to which police are entitled have been removed. … Our police and our citizens deserve far better. The extreme flaws in this bill leave me no alternative but to veto this bill.”

 

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