Stop Silencing Victims of Police Abuse

TAKE ACTION NOW

Victims of police abuse, community leaders, and local organizations are demanding that Baltimore City stop its forced silence policy. Baltimore City is one of the few jurisdictions in the country that has the practice of requiring victims to agree to gag orders – in the form of non-disparagement agreements -- to settle police misconduct cases. This policy is a choice: Baltimore city does not have to silence police abuse victims.

Please take action now.

"If your voice held no power, they would not try to silence you. Use your power. Speak up!"

ASHLEY OVERBEY, who is challenging Baltimore’s forced silence policy, represented by ACLU of Maryland

Message Recipients:

Baltimore City Council Members

Forced Silence Condones Police Violence - Image of a black woman wrapped in american flag with a raised
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Your Message
Baltimore City Council Member

I am writing to request your leadership to end egregious free speech violations Baltimore City has allowed for years on those who have been victimized by police misconduct and abuse.

Baltimore City requires a mandatory “non-disparagement” clause that silences victims of police abuse from talking about what happened to them with the public, including members of the press. Baltimore City is one of the few jurisdictions in the country that has the practice of requiring gag orders to settle police misconduct cases. This policy is a choice: Baltimore City does not have to silence police abuse victims.

I ask that the City Council take the lead in ending this forced silence policy:
1. Hold a special hearing on Baltimore City’s gag orders.
2. Pass an ordinance that prohibits the City Solicitor from asking or requiring victims of police abuse to agree to settlement provisions that prevent them from talking about the underlying claims of police misconduct.

With your leadership, we have an opportunity to make progress on repairing the relationship between the police and the community.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]
[Your Address]

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