Under the LEOBR, no jurisdiction in Maryland can follow the U.S. Justice Department’s best practices in policing that call for the immediate and separate interview, at the scene, of officers after any officer’s gun has been fired. The LEOBR permits a delay of 10 days. Nor can jurisdictions follow the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing best practices that would empower independent citizen review boards to investigate citizen complaints (as happens in the District, San Francisco and New York City). The LEOBR limits interrogations of police officers to the state attorney general or his designees and sworn officers.
The LEOBR has created a culture of impunity in our municipal police departments. The 2018 police killing of Robert White, who was walking unarmed through his Silver Spring neighborhood while black, testifies to that culture. White’s community has never learned the details of the investigation or much information about the officer who killed him, except that he still serves on the force. Many examples of racial profiling and brutality in our county can be seen on police body cameras and civilians’ cellphone videos.
Laurel Hoa, Rockville
The writer is an organizer with Showing Up for
Racial Justice-Montgomery County.
Steven Sellers Lapham, Silver Spring
The writer is a member of
the Silver Spring Justice Coalition.