ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Police accountability remains among the top priorities in the Maryland General Assembly this session.
Among the five police reform bills working through the legislature is one that would repeal the “Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights.”READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: 18 New Deaths Reported Saturday As Hospitalizations & Positivity Rate Continue To Decline
Wednesday will mark one year since a Prince George’s County police officer shot and killed William Green while he was handcuffed.
“His children are still mourning. We’re all still mourning,” his cousin Nikki Owens said.
That officer — Cpl. Michael Owen — now faces murder charges and had been flagged for numerous use-of-force complaints, according to reports.
“My cousin died in fear,” Owens said through tears. “My cousin died probably confused as to why this man shot him.”
She and others are among those calling for police reform.
Dorothy Elliott’s son Archie also died following an incident with police in 1993, WUSA-TV reports.
“There are a lot of barriers to getting justice when the police kill your son,” she said. “They don’t give information about the police officers who killed him.”READ MORE: Baltimore Mayor, Gov. Hogan Clash Over Available COVID Vaccine Doses For City Residents
- Bills To Watch This Session In The Maryland General Assembly
- Handcuffed Man William Green Fatally Shot Inside Prince George’s County Police Ofc. Michael Owen’s Cruiser
- Prince George’s Cpl. Michael Owen Indicted In Fatal Shooting Of Handcuffed William Green In Police Cruiser
- William Green’s Family Demands ‘Prompt And Thorough Justice’ After He Was Shot While Handcuffed In Police Cruiser
- ACLU Says Its ‘Completely Unacceptable’ There’s No Police Body-Worn Camera Footage Of Handcuffed Man’s Shooting
Legislators are calling for an end to the officers’ bill of rights as well as making police misconduct reports public. Other bills would create a statewide policy on use of force, remove police officers from schools and return control of the Baltimore City Police Department from the state to the city.
“It is our inability to access these records that gave rise to the Gun Trace Task Force,” said state Sen. Jill Carter (D-Baltimore City).
Yanet Amanuel from the ACLU of Maryland said other law enforcement agencies could have similar units and the public wouldn’t know.
It’s time for lawmakers to take action on calls for reform, Amanuel said.
But state FOP president Clyde Boatwright said corrupt units and cops could have been stopped if police leadership acted.
“With the repeal of the LEOBOR, we’re now giving our police chiefs expanded ability to turn their heads more,” he said.
Reform measures could have unintended consequences, he added.MORE NEWS: FDA Advisory Committee Votes To Recommend Authorizing Johnson & Johnson's New COVID-19 Vaccine
“We’re not against police reform, but we want sensible reform,” Boatwright said.