News

Police conduct, drug crime sentencing focus of General Assembly’s proposed reforms

Newspaper Coverage

By Nate Rabner

Capital News Service

The Maryland General Assembly responded in this year’s legislative session to public concern about police misconduct, drug crime, domestic violence and more.

Police conduct

Freddie Gray’s death Sunday after Baltimore police arrested him April 12 is just the latest in a series of incidents in Maryland and around the nation that have sparked outrage over law enforcement officers’ interactions with citizens.

 

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Delegates reflect on first term representing Catonsville area

Newspaper Coverage

By Heather Norris 
Baltimore Sun

Dels. Charles E. Sydnor III, a lawyer, and Pat Young, a Marine Corps veteran and veteran education advocate, began this year's legislative session with cursory knowledge of the inner workings of Annapolis.

During the session, Sydnor, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, submitted legislation including a bill that would exempt police body cameras and recording devices from state wiretapping laws.

Young, who sits on the Appropriations Committee, submitted bills that included legislation that would ensure dependents of military veterans access to in-state tuition rates at Maryland colleges and universities.

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Maryland police, activists discuss body-camera legislation

Newspaper Coverage

By Nate Rabner, Capital News Service
Cecil Daily

ANNAPOLIS — A bill to allow police officers to record video and audio with wearable cameras has been advancing through the Maryland legislature with the support of law enforcement officials, echoing a national focus on police accountability, despite concerns about invasions of privacy.

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2015 End of Session Letter

Newsletters

2015 END OF SESSION LETTER

Dear Friend and Constituent,

The Maryland General Assembly’s 2015 Legislative Session has recently concluded and I truly appreciate your trust in me to represent District 44B in Annapolis.  I was elected to serve the district and work towards a better Maryland which is what I will continue to do with your support.  I want to thank each of you for your phone calls, emails and personal visits sharing with me what was important to you during this past session.  It is only through our communications that will I know what is important to you.

This was an exciting year for me as I was appointed to the House Judiciary committee.  I was also appointed to the Criminal Justice subcommittee, and the Civil Law and Procedure subcommittee of the Judiciary committee.  In addition, I was appointed to the Baltimore County delegation’s Public Safety subcommittee and served on the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland’s Executive Board as an at-large member.

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Maryland Moves To Change State Privacy Law To Allow Body Camera Use By Police

Newspaper Coverage

By: Matt Bush

Police chiefs across Maryland warn that body cameras on officers will not be effective until a change is made in state law, and now a bill making that change has cleared the House of Delegates.

Maryland's wiretapping law currently requires two-party consent to record audio. So in the case of an officer wearing a body camera, the officer would have to ask anyone they approach if it's okay to record them. If that person says no, then there's only video.

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State Roundup, March 17, 2015

Newspaper Coverage

By Cynthia Prairie
Maryland Reporter

VOTING RIGHTS FOR EX-FELONS: Ex-felons could regain their voting rights while on parole or probation under a bill passed Monday night by the Maryland Senate. The vote for SB340 was 29 to 18, with senators split over the wisdom of letting ex-felons register before they've fully completed all the terms of their sentences, as the law now requires, Timothy Wheeler reports in the Sun.

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Wait-and-See Stance on Body Cameras Emerging in General Assembly

Newspaper Coverage

by: Roberto Alejandro
Special to the AFRO

Two bills attempting to set basic standards for the use of body-worn cameras by police across the state have run into a sentiment in the General Assembly that the adoption of the technology may be too early to justify statewide policy. 

On March 12, the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on HB 627 sponsored by Del. Sandy Rosenberg (D-Baltimore City). The bill would set basic standards for the use and operation of body cameras for any jurisdiction in the state that chooses to adopt the emerging technology.

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Maryland Police, Activists Discuss Body-Camera Legislation

Newspaper Coverage

By 
Capital News Service

ANNAPOLIS — A bill to allow police officers to record video and audio with wearable cameras has been advancing through the Maryland legislature with the support of law enforcement officials, echoing a national focus on police accountability, despite concerns about invasions of privacy.

“We see (cameras) as a valuable tool in law enforcement,” said Riverdale Park Police Chief David Morris, who serves as second vice president of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association. He said video recordings would encourage “better customer service” from police, as well as protecting officers from recriminations.

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Maryland bills would require more police transparency

Newspaper Coverage

By: Nate Rabner, Capital News Service
The Daily Record

ANNAPOLIS — Ahead of a House of Delegates committee hearing Thursday, about 70 people gathered by the State House to remember the names of people who died while interacting with law enforcement officers.

Archie Elliott III, 1995. Gary Hopkins Jr., 1999. Dale Graham, 2008. Tyrone West, 2013 — all men who died during interactions with officers in Maryland under disputed circumstances.

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Catonsville legislators propose special police unit for situations involving mentally ill

Newspaper Coverage

By Lauren Loricchio
Catonville Times, The Baltimore Sun

Hoping to improve safety for both police officers and citizens, and also prevent the mentally ill from entering the criminal justice system, State Sen. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam (District 44) and Del. Charles Sydnor (District 44B) have sponsored legislation that would create separate mental health units for the Baltimore City police department and establish an evaluation system for the unit that already exists in Baltimore County.

The legislation would establish a pilot program requiring both police departments to have units made up of officers trained to understand the needs of those with mental illness.

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