Support greater transparency in Maryland police abuse and misconduct investigations

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The public should know how police misconduct is investigated, including whether body camera footage is reviewed and witnesses are being contacted, especially when police departments do not punish wrongdoing.

Currently, if a Marylander files a complaint of police misconduct, they can’t find out how the department investigated the complaint. The problem is that the complaint is considered a “personnel record” under Maryland’s Public Information Act, and personnel records may never be disclosed. That’s unacceptable.

Demand greater transparency in police misconduct investigations!

Thanks to your advocacy over the years, there is a draft bill being considered in the General Assembly right now that would change the MPIA. But that bill only allows the State to disclose some complaint investigation details, not all, leaving a lot to the discretion of police to police themselves. The isn’t good enough. The draft bill does not provide enough transparency.

Marylanders deserve police transparency and accountability. ALL complaints should be disclosed to the public.

Please take action now.

Message Recipients:
Del. Moon
Del. Fisher
Del. Jazz Lewis
Del. Clippinger
Del. Atterbeary
Del. Crutchfield
Del. Watson
Del. Arikan
Del. Grammer
Del. Jon Cardin
Del. Anderson
Del. Bartlett
Del. Cox
Del. Davis
Del. Lopez
Del. Shetty
Del. Williams

Two women are at a rally. The woman on the right has a sign that says, "People Power to Communities being policed" and the woman one the left has a sign that says, "Hold police accountable."
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Your Message
Dear Delegate,

The public should know how police misconduct is investigated, especially when Police Departments do not punish wrongdoing.

We need to amend the Maryland Public Information Act to ensure that members of the public who file complaints of misconduct against officers are no longer categorically blocked from learning how their complaints are handled.

Maryland’s current public information law categorizes records related to police misconduct complaint investigations as “personnel” records that cannot ever be released. This is unacceptable. In addition to complaints that are sustained by police departments, we need disclosure for complaints that police decide are not sustained.

Police cannot police themselves. Only when law enforcement agencies show the evidence, or lack of evidence, that justifies their decisions about complaints can we have the transparency and accountability needed to help Maryland families heal from police abuse.

As a constituent, I want transparency over ALL police investigations of misconduct.

Sincerely,

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

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