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Maryland police agencies have for years broken law mandating reporting of excessive force, charges against officers

Published: July 16, 2019
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Source: baltimore sun

In the wake of Freddie Gray’s death from injuries suffered in police custody and the subsequent protests and rioting in Baltimore in 2015, state lawmakers passed a law mandating police agencies across Maryland report when officers use excessive force or injure someone and cases of officers’ criminal misconduct, among other data.

However, dozens of agencies — including the Baltimore Police Department — never did so. That’s resulted in extreme undercounting of such encounters in annual reports mandated by the law and collated by the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission.

In 2018, 42 of 148 agencies required to submit data did not, according to the commission.

“There was a misunderstanding here about which unit was responsible for submitting,” said Matt Jablow, a Baltimore Police spokesman, after The Baltimore Sun asked this week about the agency’s failure to comply with the law.

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Jablow said the agency has since reported its figures to the commission.

Its doing so more than doubles the statewide totals for 2017 and 2018 in several key categories, including instances of serious injury or death of an officer or someone who came in contact with police, as well as the number of officers who faced criminal charges.

For instance, in 2018, the commission’s statewide report noted 11 cases in which contact with an officer resulted in injury or death. The Baltimore Police Department’s recently submitted figures included 15 such incidents in the city alone.

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