BALTIMORE, MD – The Baltimore based Campaign for Justice, Safety, and Jobs, a coalition of diverse community groups, faith based, civil rights, and grassroots organizations, issued a letter to Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, pushing for his support of SB441, which will strengthen the community oversight of the police in Baltimore City by addressing how a Police Accountability Board interacts with the existing Baltimore City Civilian Review Board. The letter is available below.
Introduced by Senator Jill Carter and Delegate Stephanie Smith, SB 441 ensures that Baltimore City’s Civilian Review Board can absorb relevant Police Accountability Board powers so as to create a strong oversight body.
“We urge you to continue your support of transparency and police accountability by advocating for the passage of this important state legislation,” states the coalition in the letter. “We believe it is crucial that you join us in vocally supporting SB 441 and ensure it addresses the requests the public has made for years, including CRB members themselves, to have an oversight board that is properly empowered and funded to carry out the much needed Civilian Oversight.”
The group points to the egregious and widespread police misconduct and corruption by the Gun Trace Task Force, and how this example makes the need for a robust, independent, civilian-led oversight abundantly obvious. SB 441 could provide the urgently-needed clarification of the current Baltimore CRB.
“With the power of the people, supported by Mayor Scott, Baltimore can begin to have the opportunity to achieve maximum police accountability,” closed the coalition.
The Campaign for Justice, Safety, and Jobs organizations that signed on are ACLU Of Maryland, BALT, CASA, CAIR, Citizens Policing Project (CPP), Equity Matters, Free Black Mamas DMV, Jews United for Justice, Making Changes, Mothers on a Move, Organizing Black, Out for Justice, Power Inside, SEIU 1199, SURJ Baltimore, and Village Liberty Project.