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  When police officers are accused of misconduct – whether it’s excessive use of force or other lesser abuses – the internal police investigations are governed by the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights. The rules were written into law in 1974 to protect the due process rights of accused officers, but they’ve become a flashpoint for activists who argue they impede transparency and accountability from their police departments. Yesterday, a panel of state lawmakers took up the question of reforming the so-called LEOBR.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

  

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is forming a commission to study legislative redistricting reform in Maryland.

Hogan signed an executive order on Thursday to create the panel.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Lawmakers in Maryland charged with exploring potential policing reform measures heard from the public in Annapolis on Thursday. More than a dozen activists from a broad coalition of labor, civil rights and faith groups turned out to call for major changes to make law enforcement more accountable, transparent and community-oriented.

Fraser Smith and WYPR's Christopher Connelly discuss the Hogan administration's--and others'--claims about business, bond ratings and so forth.  

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

After South Carolina lawmakers voted to take down the confederate battle flag flying over the state capitol, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday said it’s a fine line to figure out whether the state’s historical monuments are symbols of oppression or of history.

Hogan, speaking with reporters in Annapolis, said the state is no longer making Sons of the Confederacy license plates, and that he thinks the flag in South Carolina should come down. But he said that the Civil War is part of the state’s history, and going much further verges on “political correctness run amok.”

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Sen. Ben Cardin was in Baltimore yesterday talking up federal legislation he introduced in the wake of the unrest following the death of Freddie Gray. Cardin’s so-called BALTIMORE Act, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, is a push to improve police-community relations.

This is one of those bills where you can really see how far politicians are willing to stretch to make an acronym that works. It’s the Building And Lifting Trust In order to Multiply Opportunities and Racial Equality Act – the BALTIMORE Act.

Md. Democratic Party Facebook Page

The Maryland Democratic Party has named a new interim executive director.

D. Bruce Poole, the party chairman, announced in an email Friday that Pat Murray has been chosen to work on an interim basis.

A former candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates has been indicted on felony theft, perjury and other charges relating to campaign spending.

State Prosecutor Emmet Davitt announced the 38-count indictment Friday against Steven Wyatt.

The indictment alleges Wyatt made unauthorized ATM withdrawals from the North County High School Athletic Boosters Association's bank account to benefit his campaign. In one case, he allegedly charged $1,300 on an association debit card at a restaurant. Wyatt had been president of the association.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Sen. Barbara Mikulski was in Sandtown Monday to talk with clergy about criminal justice reforms at the federal level, and discussed measures being considered in the Senate aimed at strengthening police-community relations.

Mikulski is the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations committee.  That committee gave approval last week to a spending bill that includes initiatives Mikulski thinks can improve policing. She said the protests following the death of Freddie Gray from injuries sustained in police custodies put light to a problem that exists in communities across the nation.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

A workgroup made up of Maryland lawmakers met today in Annapolis to start exploring potential policing and accountability reforms that can be done at the state level. It was a largely organizational meeting, but advocates ranging from the ACLU and the NAACP to Amnesty International and CASA de Maryland used the date as a chance to make it clear that advocates are ready to put pressure on lawmakers to make change happen.

The General Assembly's leadership convened the workgroup on public safety after protests against police use of force erupted across Baltimore following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray from injuries sustained while in police custody.

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