Maryland lawmakers create police accountability workgroup

SALISBURY, Md. – Police accountability has taken center stage for some Maryland lawmakers like Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes.

“The use of force has to be addressed within the law enforcement community,” said Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes.

Sample-Hughes along with other representatives across the state recently formed a police accountability workgroup.

The group will take a closer look at police policies and create recommendations for next year’s legislative session.

“So, there has been a lot of opportunities for us to do something, but I believe this is the momentum unfortunately that will propel this workgroup and many others to look at their policies and see what we can do as a state,” said Sample-Hughes.

The group says they will also review policies and procedures related to the investigations of police misconduct including the Maryland Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights.

“It goes back to wanting to make sure that the public has a level of trust within law enforcement, so we can continue to see communities working together, stronger police presence, but in a positive manner,” said Sample-Hughes.

People we spoke to say they feel police accountability is long overdue.

“They’re seeing that there’s too many deaths, too many police brutality, too much excessive force being used,” said Mary Ashanti, the President of the NAACP Wicomico County branch.

And they say they’re hopeful that their lawmakers will do whatever it takes to help ensure justice for black communities in the years to come.

“This is a great step in the right direction and to be done at the General Assembly level is awesome,” said Ashanti.

According to Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes, the next step for the police accountability workgroup is to meet in the early summer and then move forward with some proposed policies.

Delegate Sample-Hughes says this new group is also an opportunity to get law enforcement involved at the table.

Meanwhile, the NAACP Wicomico County branch says they’re looking forward to having more transparency from police in the future.

Categories: Maryland