Annapolis, MD – Today, House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones, joined by all 98 Democratic delegates, sent a letter to Governor Lawrence J. Hogan asking him to issue an executive order for all State policing agencies to take affirmative steps in police reform.

“This is not a partisan issue: I don’t care who gets the credit. We need to start implementing policing changes now,” said Speaker Jones. “With the stroke of the pen, Governor Hogan has the power to save someone’s life today.”

Maryland House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (Courtesy Photo/msa.maryland.gov/)

The legislators specifically asked the Governor to immediately:

  • Ban the use of chokeholds;
  • Require that deadly force is only used to “stop an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or a citizen;[1]
  • 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 re-train that officer;
  • Ban shooting at vehicles,
  • Require that every officer within a State law enforcement agency sign an affirmative written sanctity of life pledge.

Speaker Jones announced the creation of the House Police Reform and Accountability Workgroup earlier this month to look at comprehensive statutory changes to improve transparency and implement new requirements to prevent police misconduct. Vice Chair Vanessa Atterbeary will chair the House Workgroup.

This request reflects existing best practice recommendations by the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission but are not required among policing agencies in Maryland. Governor Hogan directly oversees ten policing agencies plus higher education policing agencies within the University System of Maryland.

View the full text of the letter here is attached.

[1] Quotes are directly from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission Protocols and Standards for Use of Force and Use of Force Training Concepts and Best Practices. https://mdle.net/pdf/UOF_Best_Practices.pdf