Maryland Strips Police Officers Of Substantive Due Process Rights: Oh, THIS Will Work Out Well, Yessiree!

I know this is the second appearance today of James Donald’s anguished coda at the end of “The Bridge Over The River Kwai,” but he arrives when it is appropriate.

Maryland’s Democrat-controlled legislature moved yesterday to pass a “police reform package “that includes the repeal of the state’s Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights (LEOBOR), overriding Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto to do it.

The state’s police Bill of Rights covered due process for officers accused of misconduct. You can read it here. I have. I would call it a not especially radical or permissive document, and its provisions simple codify basic due process rights. I view this move by the legislature as primarily symbolic, a virtue-signaling gesture of support for the individuals who break laws and against those who enforce them.

Yes, this is sure to work out well.

The action of the Maryland House of Delegates is more of the George Floyd freakout, still marching to the dishonest tune of Black Lives Matter, as the news media provides ample fertilizer. Here’s Politico, for example: “The move, a win for police reform advocates, comes amid a national reckoning with policing after the death of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer last year.”

Morons. First, Floyd did not die “at the hands” of a police officer by any measure. Second, whether the police officer caused his death is a matter being determined in a court of law, a right even police officers have. Third, it is foolish, irresponsible, incompetent emotion-driven policy-making to allow any single event, especially one in a different state, to drive substantive policy changes of any kind.

In his veto statement, Governor Hogan wrote,

“These bills would undermine the goal that I believe we share of building transparent, accountable, and effective law enforcement institutions and instead further erode police morale, community relationships, and public confidence.They will result in great damage to police recruitment and retention, posing significant risks to public safety throughout our state.”

Why would anyone in his or her right mind want to serve as a police officer in Maryland? I guess the state wants police officers who are not in their right minds. Oh, yes, this is really going to work out well.

In response to Hogan’s completely rational statement, State Del. Vanessa Atterbeary, a Democrat, revealed the kind of calm, rational, professional public servants running Maryland, tweeting that he “doesn’t stand with Black & Brown people in the state.”

“He is telling Black Marylanders that systemic racism in policing doesn’t exist here. SHAME ON HIM,” Atterbeary said. “He is telling my children & all other Black children in the state he does NOT care about their futures. SHAME ON HIM. SHAME ON HIM.”

So her position is that only black and brown citizens break laws in Maryland? That’s interesting. Ironically, I’m willing to bet that “black and brown” citizens will be the ones most harmed by making police feel that the state does not support them in the dangerous and difficult job of law enforcement.

10 thoughts on “Maryland Strips Police Officers Of Substantive Due Process Rights: Oh, THIS Will Work Out Well, Yessiree!

  1. Jack as is, rhetorically,

    “So her position is that only black and brown citizens break laws in Maryland?”

    No. Her position is that only Blacks suffer at the hands of systemically racist policies decreeing it is a crime to be Black, especially with Blacks being targeted and killed by racist cops (whether they know they are racist cops or not).

    jvb

  2. Maryland will have no one but itself to blame when crime takes off like a rocket because the police can’t recruit decent candidates and the ones on the job barely do the job. We’re a long way from Baltimore officer Salvatore RIvieri getting sacked because he berated skateboarding kids and threw one of them to the ground. We’re a long way from the possibly deliberate mistreatment of Freddie Gray and what followed. This is about making police officers afraid to take any kind of police action.

    Officers will now know every time they pull a car over, every time they investigate a light on in a building that’s supposedly abandoned, every time they tell a group of kids/young adults hanging around one corner not doing anything in particular that they want this corner cleared, they risk not only losing everything they’ve worked for up to that point, they risk not only going to jail themselves, but they risk becoming the latest face of racism and white supremacy, and they risk it all without much protection for their rights in all of this.

    If you’re near the end of your time, and probably cynical a la Richard Belzer’s Det. John Munch, maybe it’s easier to cross the street, look the other way, give everything the benefit of the doubt, even when it doesn’t deserve it, and just move closer and closer to your pension and the day you don’t have to deal with this crap anymore. If you’re not, though, it’s another story. Who wants to go through the risk and bother of an arrest only to see the prosecutor cut the person loose every time? Who wants to risk death or injury knowing most folks will say you probably deserved it for harassing young black men who dindonufin? Who wants to spend a decade or more walking on eggshells, knowing that you could lose everything at the drop of a hat, knowing that no one has your back, knowing the locals don’t trust you, the politicians hate you, and the prosecutors want to put YOU in jail more than they want to put the people you arrest in jail? On top of all this, then all these folks want to blame you and lay you off before your pension vests because you aren’t doing your job, when they’re the ones who made it impossible for you to do it in the first place. Then you’d be on the street, 33 and having given up 11 years of your life, with nothing to show for it, not knowing how to do much else, facing the unappealing choices of being a sleazy private eye or working “loss prevention” for $8/hour.

    What’s more, do you think that the ordinary people will just hurry home in the evenings and cower in their homes while crime takes over? Maybe for a while, but eventually they’re going to turn elsewhere if they can’t turn to the police because the police are too scared or demoralized or too “busy” to help. I’m not talking “community watches” made up of paunch-bellied retirees who have too much time on their hands and want to play cop and paranoid soccer moms who see trouble everywhere. I’m talking shomrim who won’t hesitate to beat the tobacco juice out of a shvartze or goy who is in the wrong place at the wrong time. I’m talking wise guys who will ahem, solve their people’s problems and not say how they solve them. I’m talking tongs who who will take their people’s hard-earned money at mah-jong one night and make someone who isn’t their people but is spending too much time in the neighborhood vanish the next. I’m talking former military private security who will hit or shoot first and say nothing later.

    Congrats, way to go upholding the rule of law.

  3. This mornings ‘black citizen being abused by police’ shows how this situation is degrading. The police pulled over an Army lieutenant because his temporary tags were taped to the INSIDE of a heavily tinted rear window. They ordered him out of the car and all he did was back-talk them and refused to get out or unlock the door. Eventually, they pepper sprayed him, put him in handcuffs, etc. The only thing I could see the officers do wrong is threaten his military career if he filed a complaint.

    My analysis of the news coverage:
    (1) They claimed there was no reason to pull him over because ‘you could see his tag in the window’. This is true, however, you could not READ the tag.
    (2) Pennsylvania v. Mims. Police can order you out of the car during a traffic stop. It is a lawful order. He refused to get out, refused to unlock his door. He refused to even acknowledge the officer’s orders. He was trying to be in charge. He wasn’t ‘doing everything right’ as was alleged by the 3 talking heads and their legal ‘expert’.

    My thoughts on the ‘victim’:
    (1) Any lieutenant who is unable to follow a lawful order should probably be sent for retraining or discipline. The officers were wrong to seemingly threaten his military career, but I think his military career should be in jeopardy. He either (a) can’t follow orders or (b) thinks he doesn’t have to obey the law because he is in the military. Either one should not be permitted in the military, especially for an officer.
    (2) This is yet another video of a person who ignores police and just asks questions back when given lawful orders or instructions by officers. He suffered the same consequences as any of the people (black and white) on the hundreds of ‘sovereign citizen’ videos on YouTube.

    Even military officers think they can ignore police orders and act like this now. How much better is this going to get with this legislation.

    Also: Has anyone noticed we have a Democratic Party that wants to treat all state police officers as racist abusers but also wants federal police to have the right to enter people’s homes without a warrant and search them? Is this an attempt to take away police control from the states and rest it completely in the hands of the federal government?

  4. “In response to Hogan’s completely rational statement, State Del. Vanessa Atterbeary, a Democrat, revealed the kind of calm, rational, professional public servants running Maryland, tweeting that he “doesn’t stand with Black & Brown people in the state.” “He is telling Black Marylanders that systemic racism in policing doesn’t exist here. SHAME ON HIM,” Atterbeary said. “He is telling my children & all other Black children in the state he does NOT care about their futures. SHAME ON HIM. SHAME ON HIM.”

    And yet she is from the same party that wants stricter gun control laws that will be enforced by these systemic ally racist police.

    Imagine that…

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