Symbol without Substance: The Problem with Police Accountability “Reforms”
In the national dialogue of police accountability measures, we hear things like banning chokeholds, banning no knock warrants, independent prosecutors and more. These are not bad proposals, but as stand alone policies, keep the current regime of policing in tact. These are minor tweaks that can be sold to the public as sweeping reforms.
Without policies that fundamentally change the institution of law enforcement, these kinds of measures are band-aids on a corrupt system. This week, versions of the previously mentioned policies have been heard, and again, while these policies are not bad, they must be accompanied by policies that shift power over the nature of policing into the hands of the community. Otherwise the legislative action will become symbol, without substance.
Protest to Policy – Police Accountability in Maryland (2021)
Since the global marches and demonstrations against police brutality in 2020, there have been many conversations in the Maryland General Assembly about legislations to address policy brutality and accountability. For the past five years, LBS and many other organizations have been consistent voices in Annapolis concerning these issues.
VIDEO: Joint Delegation Public Safety Series: Part One – “What is LEOBOR?” (7.28.2020)
The Baltimore City and Prince George’s County Delegations in the Maryland General Assembly partnered to host a joint three part Public Safety Virtual Series. Moderated by the Chairs, Delegate Stephanie Smith – Baltimore City and Delegate Erek L. Barron – Prince George’s County, the series will include an hour long panel discussion and Q&A for each installment.
Part One: “What is LEOBOR (Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights)?”, streamed Tuesday, July 28, 2020 on Facebook Live @citydelegation. Featured panelists include: Maryland State Senator Jill P. Carter, Baltimore City – 41st Legislative District; Dayvon Love, Director of Public Policy – Leaders of A Beautiful Struggle; Joseph A. McMillan, Past National President – National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.