According to one of the new laws, civil servants only have to use force if this is “necessary and proportionate”.
The move, a win for police reform advocates, comes amid a national settlement with the police after George Floyd, a black man, was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last year. Many states have considered police reform after Floyd’s death.
“Maryland is leading the way in reshaping our broken police system,” Maryland House of Delegates Democratic spokeswoman Adrienne Jones wrote in a tweet on Saturday. “Now, for the first time in our nation’s history, the rights of civil servants will not precede the rights of individuals, and policing in Maryland will be transparent and citizen-oriented.”
Maryland first introduced its Bill of Rights in 1974, and since then about 20 states have taken similar measures. Hogan said he had to veto the bills to “keep Marylanders safe”.
“These bills would undermine the goal, which I believe we share, of building transparent, accountable and effective law enforcement agencies and instead further undermining police morale, community relations and public confidence,” Hogan said in a statement. “They will do great harm to police recruitment and retention and pose a significant risk to public safety across our state.”
State Del. Vanessa Atterbeary, a Democrat, hit back on Hogan in a tweet on Friday, saying he was “not affiliated with the Black & Brown people in the state.”
“He tells the Black Marylanders that there is no systemic racism in policing here. Shame on him, ‘said Atterbeary. “He’s telling my children and all of the other black children in the state that he does NOT care about their future. SHAME ON HIM. SHAME ON HIM. “