BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City will no longer use “gag orders” in police settlements.
“You can’t give a person a gag order when they’ve been victimized,” said Baltimore Mayor Jack Young.READ MORE: Preakness Updates | Updated Odds Show Support For Fenwick
Mayor Young signed an executive order last week allowing those who have settled claims against the City to speak out.
“It was three officers who beat, punched, kicked and attacked me as if I were a male or a threat,” said Ashley Overbey, who received such a settlement.
The gag order executive order comes after Overbey and the Maryland ACLU successfully sued the City this summer and a federal court ruled the non-disclosure agreements unconstitutional.
“Unless these people can know what’s going on and what these cops and city government is doing to us, no change can be done,” Overbey said.
The City had revoked half of Overbey’s settlement after she spoke out online, citing a violation of her NDA.READ MORE: ALERT DAY: Extreme Heat & Humidity Creating Potentially Dangerous Conditions
“Which have silenced numerous victims, maybe more than we know,” said Susan Goering with the ACLU of Maryland.
Young said he met with Tawanda Jones, an outspoken activist against police brutality after her brother Tyrone West died in police custody in 2013.
The executive order applies retroactively to all those who have settled claims with the City.
“Anybody who sues the city and wins should be able to talk about it, and talk about it truthfully,” Mayor Young said.
The ACLU wants the city council to pass legislation on top of this executive order to bar NDAs in city settlements.
The council is meeting Monday to take up this very issue.MORE NEWS: Baltimore Police Seek Man Who Shot Someone Inside Federal Hill Restaurant
It would prohibit non-disclosure provisions in misconduct and discrimination settlements.