Home Local News MD lawmakers react to videos of Ocean City police using force on Black men

MD lawmakers react to videos of Ocean City police using force on Black men

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Just months after they passed a sweeping police reform package into law, Maryland lawmakers once again faced calls for change Monday as videos of Ocean City police using force on young Black men went viral.

Top legislative leaders issued statements that pointed to the necessity of the reform bills — though major pieces of the legislation won’t go into effect for more than a year.

The Ocean City videos “underscore the urgency of the police reform legislative package passed last Session, and the need to implement those reforms purposely with fidelity,” Senate President Bill Ferguson said in a statement.

A series of videos captured two separate incidents. One shows a police officer kneeing a 19-year-old man who is crouched on the ground on Ocean City’s Boardwalk. As a large crowd formed around the scene, officers confronted several more people and appeared to use a Taser on another man.

Ocean City police officers pull over a vehicle at the intersection of Coastal Highway and 68th Street on Sept. 25, 2020 during a pop-up car rally known as H2Oi. The event attracts thousands of car enthusiasts to Ocean City at the end of each September.

Ocean City police said in a statement that officers had observed a “large group vaping on the Boardwalk” and went on to arrest four people, all of whom were released on their own recognizance.

“Our officers are permitted to use force, per their training, to overcome exhibited resistance,” the department said in a statement. “All uses of force go through a detailed review process. The uses of force from these arrests will go through a multi-level examination.”

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Source: GANNETT Syndication Service

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