Speaker, House Democrats calling on Gov. Hogan to implement police reform measures

Posted at 2:07 PM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 14:07:20-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones, joined by all 98 Democratic delegates, sent a letter Tuesday to Gov. Larry Hogan asking him to issue an executive order for all state policing agencies to immediately implement police reform measures.

"This is not a partisan issue: I don't care who gets the credit. We need to start implementing policing changes now," Jones said in a statement. "With the stroke of the pen, Gov. Hogan has the power to save someone's life today."

The legislators specifically asked the governor to take the following actions immediately:

  • Ban the use of chokeholds.
  • Require that deadly force is only used to "stop an imminent threat of death or seriously bodily injury to the officer or a citizen."
  • Require a duty to intervene for those police officers who see another officer using unnecessary force.
  • Implement an early warning system to identify incidents involving use of force and immediately retrain that officer.
  • Ban shooting at vehicles.
  • Require that every officer within a state law enforcement agency sign an affirmative written sanctity of life pledge.

According to the legislators, the requests reflect existing best practice recommendations by the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission but are not required among policing agencies in Maryland.

Earlier this month, Jones announced the creation of the House Police Reform and Accountability Workgroup to review comprehensive statutory changes to improve transparency and implement new requirements to prevent police misconduct.

They say Gov. Hogan directly oversees 10 policing agencies plus higher education policing agencies within the University System of Maryland.