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CAIR Joins Coalition of 60+ Maryland Groups Calling on Lawmakers to Support Meaningful Police Reforms

(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 

Https://bit.ly/MDPoliceReform

“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 

CASA

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

FreeState Justice

Greater Baltimore Democratic Socialists of America – Steering Committee

Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association

Homeless Persons Representation Project

Innocence 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

Making Changes

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

Power Inside

Prevent Gun Violence Ministry, River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation

Prince George’s People’s Coalition

Prisons to Professionals

Progressive Maryland

Public Justice Center

Racial Justice NOW!

Rebuild, Overcome, and Rise (ROAR) Center at UMB

Reproductive Justice Inside

Sanctuary DMV

SEIU 1199

Showing Up for Racial Justice, Baltimore

Silver Spring Justice Coalition

Takoma Park Mobilization

West Wednesdays

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, mdoutreach@cair.com; CAIR Office in Maryland Director Zainab Chaudry, zchaudry@cair.com, 410-971-6062

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