Montgomery County Council Introduces Police Accountability Bill
Updated: Sep 4, 2021
Police Body-worn cameras have been a hot topic of debate for a number of years and after Geroge Flyod murder and conviction of Derek Chauvin, more bills are being introduced across the country. As such, Montgomery County Council President Hucker along with Councilmembers Jawando and Riemer introduced Bill 18-21 which aims to improve police accountability through the random review of body-worn cameras and through the prompt reporting of serious Internal Affairs Division (IAD) investigations. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for June 22nd at 1:30 pm.
A few highlights of the bill include the requirement that officers who normally work in plain clothes have body-worn cameras when they are required to work in uniform in ad hoc situations. It would also randomize the review of body camera footage by the Department. The bill would automatically require certain instances to be investigated by the IAD such as when the case involves:
• a use of force under Section 35-22;
• a child under the age of 18;
• a potential criminal offense by a Department employee;
• a fatality or serious bodily injury; or
• potential discrimination or harassment by an employee on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, disability, or religion.
The bill would require the IAD to brief the Police Chief on its investigations at least monthly. The types of investigations listed above would need to be reported to the Chief immediately who would then be required to inform the County Executive and the County Council within 24 hours.