Police Union Leader Expresses Concerns About Proposed Changes To Officers’ Legal Protections

In Annapolis, state lawmakers are considering the repeal of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights. The president of the Maryland State Fraternal Order of Police said Wednesday that the move, if successful, would strip officers of due process.

“Without that due process, our officers will be left without anything to look forward to in terms of their career,” Clyde Boatwright told C4 and Bryan Nehman.

Before the bill of rights law was passed, Boatwright said, “police chiefs had uncontrolled abilities to fire at will.”

The law establishes standards for and limits on police misconduct investigations. It provides for hearing boards to consider police misconduct cases and makes it difficult for police chiefs to impose penalties harsher than those recommended by hearing boards. That includes termination.

“We invite any kind of discussion that people want to have… but we want to have meaningful conversation,” Boatwright said. “Let’s sit down and dialogue about it before you completely repeal it.”

Boatwright said he is against one change some lawmakers are looking to make–mandating civilian involvement in review boards. That is already the case in Baltimore City.

“Military men are judged by men in uniform. Doctors are judged by doctors,” Boatwright said. “The LEOBR allows for police officers of equal rank, and above rank, to sit in judgment to see whether or not a reasonable police officer would have done the same thing if confronted with the same circumstances.”

From www.wbal.com

More from The Latest News.