Last week, State Senator Jill P. Carter of Baltimore announced that she had drafted the bill to repeal the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights in the Maryland Senate.
One of Montgomery County’s Delegates, Delegate Gabriel Acevero, has submitted the draft request for the House.
Maryland was the first state to enact a Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights and has one of the strongest bills that protects cops, on par with states like Mississippi. Repealing LEOBR would end several protections that prevent law enforcement from being held accountable for their actions and would allow disciplinary records to be made public, which currently is not the case.
The union local’s president, Gino Renne, said he fired Mr. Acevero because of his antagonistic attitude at a meeting to discuss the issue. But he also said Mr. Acevero’s stand complicated “our obligation to represent our members.”
MCGEO represents thousands of Montgomery County residents, including members of the Sheriff’s department. Mr. Renne and Torrie Cooke–the Fraternal Order of Police Union president–tried to convince Delegate Acevero to stop fighting for police reform in Maryland.
Mr. Renne has apparently forgotten that his union represents thousands of Black members who are disproportionately killed in the United States, 3 of which were killed in Montgomery County by local police officers.
UPDATE: Councilmember Hans Riemer had this to say about the situation
I think it is absolutely outrageous that Gino Renne and the County government employees union MCGEO fired Montgomery County Delegate Gabriel Acevero for his work to protect residents from police abuse. As an elected official, Gabe has been a courageous leader for police reform. He has proposed removing laws that shield bad police officers from accountability. It is unthinkable that MCGEO would violate Gabe’s labor rights by firing him for exercising free speech and performing his duty as a legislator, where he works for the people, not MCGEO. I know that this action doesn’t really represent the labor movement and what it stands for, but still I am deeply disappointed.
Gabriel Acevero, a lot of people in this County support your efforts on police reform. Don’t turn back.