Maryland lawmakers voted over the weekend to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s vetoes of 3 police reform measures.
Most notably, one the measures repeals of the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights. Critics said job protections during the police disciplinary process impedes accountability. Maryland is the first state to repeal the law. Lawmakers replaced with new procedures that give civilians a role in the police disciplinary process.
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The package also includes provisions to increase the civil liability limit on lawsuits involving police from $400,000 to $890,000. An officer convicted of causing serious injury or death through excessive force would face 10 years in prison.
County-level police departments will now be required to adopt body cameras by July 2025. The legislation also includes a new statewide use of force policy, expansion of public access to records in police disciplinary cases and limits the use of no-knock warrants. Police will only be able to use no-knock warrants between 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. except in an emergency.
There are two measures that are going into effect without Gov. Hogan’s signature.
One of them would create a unit in the attorney general’s office to investigate police-involved deaths and ban law enforcement from buying surplus military equipment. The other would allow Baltimore voters to decide whether or not the city should take full control of the police department from the state.
In addition to these police reform bills, lawmakers also overrode Hogan’s veto of a bill that will ban life sentences without parole for juveniles.
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