(BALTIMORE, MD, 6/22/20) – The Maryland office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has joined the ACLU Of Maryland and a diverse coalition of more than 60 organizations in the state calling on state lawmakers to commit to supporting meaningful police reform, accountability and policy changes as a critical solution to racial injustices disproportionately impacting communities of color.
SEE: Link to Sign-On Letter
“Moving beyond protests, substantial policy reform and structural change is the most effective way to guarantee justice and accountability in policing,” said CAIR’s Maryland Legislative Intern Eimaan Imran. “We call on our lawmakers to support these measures.”
1. Repealing Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEBOR)
LEBOR grants special protections even for those officers with a proven record of unauthorized use of deadly force. Since its enactment, it has hindered accountability and allowed police abuse to go unpunished.
2. Restoring Control of the Baltimore City Police Department
Baltimore City, a majority Black jurisdiction, is the only locality in the state that is not allowed to govern its own police department. Because the city’s law enforcement agency is controlled by the state, residents must rely on lawmakers in Annapolis – who, in many cases, reside elsewhere and aren’t familiar with the local culture, challenges or concerns of local communities – to amend policies and practices.
3. Transparent investigations into police misconduct
The Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) currently blocks access to information about how police misconduct investigations are handled, currently categorizing this information as confidential. Without exception, constituents should have the right to know if their cases are investigated properly or even at all.
4. Restricting use of force by law enforcement
Maryland is one of a handful of states that do not have a statutory limit on police officers’ use of force. Our lawmakers need to pass a law that addresses this issue in our state.
5. Removing law enforcement from public schools.
Overwhelming evidence has proven that when there are police officers at schools, arrests of children substantially increase, even though disruptive behavior is often better addressed through non-punitive supports and interventions. Instead of depending on School Resource Officers, we should shift our focus to hiring more trained counselors, social workers, psychologists, and behavioral specialists in schools.
Organizations Calling for Police Reform in Maryland include:
Advocates for Children and Youth
ACLU of Maryland
ACLU of Maryland, Montgomery County Chapter
Baltimore Action Legal Team
Baltimore Bern Unit
Baltimore City Civilian Review Board
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Office in Maryland
Caucus of African-Americans Leaders
Citizens Policing Project
Coalition for Justice for Anton Black
Coalition of Concerned Mothers
Common Cause Maryland
Community Actively Seeking Transparency (C.A.S.T.)
Disability Rights Maryland
Do the Most Good
Drug Policy Alliance
For Kathy’s Sake
Greater Baltimore Democratic Socialists of America – Steering Committee
Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association
Homeless Persons Representation Project
InterFaith Action for Human Rights
Jews United For Justice
Job Opportunities Task Force
Justice Policy Institute
Law Enforcement Action Partnership
Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle
League of Women Voters Maryland
LGBTQ Dignity Project
Life After Release
Mama Sisterhood of Prince George’s County
March for Our Lives Maryland
Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform
Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition
Maryland Justice Project
Maryland Poor People’s Campaign
Maryland Prisoners’ Rights Coalition
Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative
Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence
Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition
Montgomery County Democratic Socialists of America
Mothers on the Move
NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland
NAACP Maryland State Conference Political Action
Office of the Public Defender
Our Prince George’s
Out For Justice, Inc.
Planned Parenthood of Maryland
Prevent Gun Violence Ministry, River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Prince George’s People’s Coalition
Prisons to Professionals
Public Justice Center
Racial Justice NOW!
Rebuild, Overcome, and Rise (ROAR) Center at UMB
Reproductive Justice Inside
Showing Up for Racial Justice, Baltimore
Silver Spring Justice Coalition
Takoma Park Mobilization
Wicomico County NAACP Branch 7028
Women’s Law Center
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
END CONTACT: CAIR Maryland Legislative Intern Eimaan Imran, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Office in Maryland Director Zainab Chaudry, email@example.com, 410-971-6062