District 16, 20 – call, email Sen. Lee and Raskin: support SB566!

State Senator Susan Lee (D-16)

State Senator Susan Lee (D-16)

If you live in District 16 (vicinity of Bethesda, Glen Echo) or District 20 (vicinity of Takoma Park, Silver Spring)  (not sure? look it up here),  please take a minute to make a very important phone call to your Maryland Senator’s office right now. Their phone numbers are:

District 16 (Bethesda, Glen Echo)
Senator Susan C. Lee
(410) 841-3124, (301) 858-3124, 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3124 (toll free)
susan.lee@senate.state.md.us

District 20 (Takoma Park, Silver Spring)
Senator Jamin B. (Jamie) Raskin
(410) 841-3634, (301) 858-3634, 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3634 (toll free)
jamie.raskin@senate.state.md.us

Senator Jamie Raskin (D-20)

Senator Jamie Raskin (D-20)

Both Senators are Montgomery County members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and will therefore vote on the fate of SB566, a bill reforming the “Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights” — i.e., the way cases involving police officers are currently handled.  Here’s what you can say:

Hello my name is ________

I am a resident of the [16th/20th] legislative district. I am calling in support of Senate Bill 566. I would like to know what Senator [Lee’s/Raskin’s] position is on this bill.

[Here are the major points of the bill that we care about]

  • It allows for residents of a community to serve on the trial boards that determine disciplinary measures against officers that have engaged in misconduct. Currently only other law enforcement officers serve on this board.
  • It removes the 10 day window that police officers are given before they are compelled to make a statement in the event that they kill someone in the line of duty.
  • Allows for family members to file complaints on behalf of a victim of police misconduct.
  • It requires that police officers are questioned before they receive information about the complaint against them.

If they ask you about other parts of the bill, make it clear that the advocates are willing to negotiate on other parts of the bill, but that the talking points above are the main elements that we want in the bill.  If they ask for specific names of advocates you can tell them Dayvon Love from Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, Sara Love of the ACLU, and Rion Dennis, and/or Elsa Lakew and Thomas Nephew of the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition.*

Email
Below is an email version of this that you can also send to your Senator’s office.  If you use an email client (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.), just click the links and then edit with your own words if you choose.  As written, your email will simultaneously CC the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition; you can remove that if you prefer, of course.

Otherwise, just copy/paste/edit the email below with your web-based email system:

Senator [Lee/Raskin],

I am a resident of Maryland’s [16th/20th]  Legislative District.  I am urging you to support Senate Bill 566.  Here are the main elements of the bill that I think are crucial:

  • It allows for residents of a community to serve on the trial boards that determine disciplinary measures against officers that have engaged in misconduct. Currently only other law enforcement officers serve on this board.
  • It removes the 10 day window that police officers are given before they are compelled to make a statement in the event that they kill someone in the line of duty.
  • Allows for family members to file complaints on behalf of a victim of police misconduct.
  • It requires that police officers are questioned before they receive information about the complaint against them.

I strongly urge that you support this legislation.  All of the items listed above do not put law enforcement at a disadvantage, these measures are designed to create greater police accountability, trust and cooperation.

=====
* Phone script and email drafted by Dayvon Love, Director, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle.  The “trial boards” of the message are appeals boards that review police chief disciplinary decisions.

Email generators for remaining Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee members:

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