The state of Maryland enacted a landmark police overhaul on Saturday (April 10), revoking its Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights. According to The Washington Post, the state also took measures to impose new protocols for police officers' use of force while on the job, how investigations are conducted into officers, and how they can be disciplined.
“Maryland is leading the nation in transforming our broken policing system,” Maryland House Speakers Adrienne Jones said. “I am proud to lead the House in overriding the governor’s veto and showing the nation exactly where we stand as a state.”
State lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled House voted to override Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s vetoes of the legislation.
The measures also impose restrictions on no-knock warrants, make body-worn cameras required for police officers, and give the public a role in disciplinary action taken against police.
Maryland lawmakers prioritized measures, which are backed by criminal justice advocates, following the numerous police-involved murders of Black people.
“What we are doing today is taking a step forward to creating greater public safety where every single member of our community feels safe,” State Senate President Bill Ferguson said. “We’re not there, but with this framework, we can get there.”
The state legislature also overrode Hogan’s veto on a bill that abolishes life sentences without parole for juveniles. Hogan and other Republican lawmakers have expressed their opposition to the measures, with the governor saying the moves will “erode police morale, community relationships and public confidence.”
“This will result in great damage to police recruitment and retention, posing significant risks to public safety throughout our state,” Hogan wrote in a letter.
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