Last week there were a flurry of stories of police taking arrests way too far; an Army lieutenant was pepper-sprayed and handcuffed while Virginia cops searched his car with no probable cause. An Ohio man had snow forcibly shoved in his mouth during a February arrest.
Here in Maryland, a police Bill of Rights was enacted in 1974, ensuring police had extra protections unavailable to ordinary citizens, including time limits on alleging brutality complaints, allowing only other law enforcement officers to investigate misconduct, and allowing a delay before questioning an officer. Last week this was struck down by our state legislature over the objections of our Governor, ensuring that police will need to begin to rein in their worst impulses and be held accountable for their actions. I’m proud of our legislature this morning.