The Rockville Human Rights Commission, ending a lengthy investigation into a scuffle last summer between two white Rockville police officers and three black city residents, has determined that the residents had "a reasonable basis" for filing a brutality complaint against the officers.
The commission, it a recent letter from chairman Lloyd P. Welter to Police Chief Jared D. Stout, did not suggest punitive action against the officers. But it made several recommendations for improving relations between police and residents.
The group urged the police department to provide officers with additional training in community relations and to make "extra efforts" to hire minority officers.
The department should report to the commission every 90 days on its progress in hiring minorities, and on the status of any complaints filed against the department that come under the city's human rights law, the commission said.
Also, the commission suggested that the department initiate meetings with minority groups to better determine their needs.
Stout said he hopes to meet with the commission soon to discuss the recommendations.
"I find nothing in the recommendations that, on the face, seem to be different or out of line with what we ought to be doing," Stout said.
The recommendations grew out of the commission's investigation into a July 19 scuffle in Lincoln Park. The officers were accused of using excessive force as they arrested Montrea Davis, her mother Constance M. Hardman and her father Joseph B. Davis while responding to a report about an abandoned car.
In December, a police trial board fined officer Alice F. Anselmo $2,400 and suspended her for 10 days for her part in the incident. Officer John N. Converse was absolved of wrongdoing by a trial board last month.
The Maryland Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights prevents the commission, or any other outside body, from taking disciplinary action against the officer.