ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Calling for police accountability. Dozens of protesters gather in Annapolis, calling on lawmakers to change police policies in the state. This, after a state task force proposes sweeping reforms.
Meghan McCorkell has more from the rally.
Advocates are calling for more transparency and greater civilian oversight when it comes to law enforcement.
In 2008, Darlene Cain’s son, Dale Graham, was fatally shot by a Baltimore City police officer.
“Like Dr. Martin Luther King, Dale had a dream, but it was stolen,” said Cain.
Now, on Dr. Martin Luther King Day, she joins dozens in the shadow of the Maryland State House, calling for major police reforms and laying down on Lawyer’s Mall.
Each person on the ground representing the more than 100 people killed by police in Maryland over the past six years.
“We will make sure that we hold police accountable for their actions,” said Del. Barbara Robinson, (D) Baltimore City.
But last year, lawmakers failed to pass several police reform bills.
Advocates say that can’t happen this year.
“We hear the term blue line. People feel as if they’re on the other side of the blue line, and that the side they’re on doesn’t understand what’s happening on the other side,” said Garland Nixon, ACLU.
Just last week, a panel of legislators released a list of recommendations to change police practices across the state.
The panel met for six months, reviewing law enforcement policies.
Their recommendations include psychological evaluations for officers, standardizing police training and opening police trial boards to the public.
But those ideas still need to be turned into laws.
“If nothing substantive happens this time, people are going to start to lose faith in the system,” said Nixon, “And we certainly don’t want that to happen.”
That’s why the group braved the cold to make their voices heard.
The group says they hope new laws could help rebuild trust between the community and police.
The recommendations from the legislative panel have been submitted to the Senate president and speaker of the House.