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Maryland Senate passes bill to enable AG to prosecute police

March 9th, 2023 by WCBC Radio

 The Maryland Senate voted Thursday for a measure to give the state’s attorney general independent authority to bring criminal charges against police officers after investigating deaths when officers are involved.

The bill, which passed on a 27-20 vote, would expand a part of a package of police reforms approved two years ago in response to concerns about police accountability after the 2020 killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. The measure now goes to the House, where a similar bill has also been filed.

The Independent Investigations Division was created in the attorney general’s office to investigate in-custody deaths of civilians throughout the state, including police shootings. Current law empowers the division to probe the cases and provide facts to local prosecutors who then decide whether to prosecute.

Supporters of the bill say it aims to end potential conflicts of interest between local prosecutors and police. Opponents say it’s an overreach of state powers over locally elected prosecutors.