Lawmakers override vetoes on police reform
Maryland lawmakers voted Saturday to override Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s vetoes of three far-reaching police reform measures that supporters say are needed to increase accountability and restore public trust.
One of the measures repeals job protections in the police disciplinary process that critics say impede accountability. Maryland approved the nation’s first Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights in 1974, and about 20 states have adopted similar laws setting due process procedure for investigating police misconduct. The package includes provisions to increase the civil liability limit on lawsuits involving police from $400,000 to $890,000. An officer convicted of causing serious injury or death through excessive force would face 10 years in prison.
Sen. Robert Cassilly, a Republican, described the legislation as “anti-cop.”
Hogan also vetoed legislation with a new statewide use-of-force policy and mandated use of body cameras statewide by July 2025.
Another vetoed measure would expand public access to records in police disciplinary cases and limit the use of no-knock warrants. Under the bill, police could only use no-knock warrants between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., except in an emergency.
In his veto message, Hogan wrote that he believed the measures would “further erode police morale, community relationships, and public confidence.”
The measure is named after Anton Black, a 19-yearold African American who died in police custody in
2018 in a rural town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Hogan wrote that two measures would go into effect without his signature.
One of them would create a unit in the attorney general’s office to investigate police-involved deaths and prohibit law enforcement from buying surplus military equipment.