Baltimore, our state’s largest city and a major driver of our economy, is currently confronting a crisis of confidence that the governor is uniquely positioned to solve. Just recently, a major police corruption trial concluded in which a total of eight officers either plead or were found guilty of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, and robbery. Prosecutors in the case said the officers were playing both “cops and robbers,” using their police badges to terrorize residents, cover up crimes, and steal large sums of money. Cities across our state are facing this crisis of trust to varying degrees, which is why I released my plan, Building Trust, to help build up community-police relations.
My grandfather worked in law enforcement. He was my early compass for how police should serve and protect the community, and in return the community pays officers our respect and gratitude for risking their lives day in and day out to keep us all safe. We owe it to people like my grandfather, who make up most of the Baltimore Police Department, to give them the proper training, tools, and policies so that it is easier and safer for them to do their jobs. If we don’t prepare them, we have failed them and we have failed the communities who rely on them. In order for Baltimore to thrive and ultimately become a safer city so that all of Maryland benefits, the governor must act with courage to address police misconduct and reform the city’s police department.
Because the police department is technically a state agency, reforming the police department is not merely a local issue. The governor has a moral and constitutional responsibility to act in the midst of such chaos.
My platform will improve police-community relations in every jurisdiction across Maryland.
As governor, I will:
- Pass hearing board reforms that guarantee voting civilians form a majority of those in charge of reviewing police misconduct complaints
- End Nondisclosure Agreements for Police Misconduct Settlements
- Reform the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights so that all allegations of police brutality are investigated no matter the filing date
- Remove the 10- day window officers have before being interviewed by investigators following an incident
- Police the police through a Special Prosecutor’s Office with oversight of all cases of alleged police misconduct
- Create a Public Database for Officer Use of Force so that use of force reports are easily accessible and searchable for the public