Time and time again, rights that people take for granted are whittled away. People attempt to stifle speech they don't like, religions that aren't their own, or the press that puts out a viewpoint with which they don't agree. These are fundamental rights we have as Americans that must be protected for everyone.
As the Policy Director of the ACLU I
* fought against - and helped defeat - bills that would have criminalized freedom of association, that sought to restrict freedom of religion, and that would have infringed on students' rights to be free from proselytizing at public schools.
* wrote a bill to require law enforcement to use body cameras and worked to reform the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights.
* worked to protect Marylanders from discrimination by working to pass Marriage Equality, fighting to include gender identity in our anti-discrimination laws, and working against unjust criminal laws that had either the intent or the effect of criminalizing black and brown Marylanders.
* brought Republicans and Democrats together behind bills that ensured Marylanders are not tracked by law enforcement via their phones, that law enforcement must get warrants prior to reading our emails, and that there are restrictions on access to the data that Automatic License Plate Readers collect.
As your Delegate I will continue to stand up for your civil rights and civil liberties.
* Passed the most comprehensive policing reform package in the Country. Our state, like our country, needs to reimagine policing. People of color are disproportionately harassed, stopped, arrested, and/or killed by police. There is a lack of trust in police that undermines all of our safety. Having worked on the issue of police accountability at the ACLU of Maryland, I am so proud that this year we finally passed a comprehensive package of bills addressing policing reform and accountability. There are 5 different bills:
HB 670 overhauls the police disciplinary process and makes Maryland the first state in the nation to fully repeal the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights. It replaces it with a civilian-driven, public-facing approach to police discipline. The bill also requires increased training and assessments for officers; provides scholarships and loan repayment assistance for those going into law enforcement; increases the amount a victim may receive in a civil lawsuit based on an illegal act committed by an officer; and requires law enforcement officers to provide identifying information and the reason for the stop when making a traffic stop.
SB 71 requires all local and state law enforcement officers to wear body cameras by 2025. The legislation also significantly limits the use of force by law enforcement, allows it only when it is necessary and proportional, and requires officers to intervene when excessive force is used.
SB 178 provides the public with access to police disciplinary records. Additionally, the bill puts greater restrictions on how and when no-knock warrants can be served.
SB 600 requires an independent investigative unit in the Office of the Attorney General to investigate alleged or potential police-involved deaths of civilians. The bill also prohibits a law enforcement agency from receiving certain equipment from a federal program that allows for the transfer of surplus military equipment.
SB 786 returns the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) to local control (it has been under State control since 1860), contingent on the ratification of an amendment by the voters of Baltimore City.