Montgomery County Council introduces police-reform bill

Montgomery County, Maryland, has followed other communities in the area and nationwide in introducing a bill calling for changes in police procedures after the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police.

The bill will be introduced Tuesday, and all nine County Council members are either lead or co-sponsors.

Under the bill, the police chief will be required to issue a new policy on the use of force. And while the chief would write the policy, the council’s bill has certain requirements.

For one, the use of both deadly force and neck restraints must be limited to times when it’s “necessary to protect against an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.”

Officers would also be prohibited from hitting a suspect who has already been restrained, and officers would be required to intervene if they saw another officer breaking the use-of-force policy or committing a crime.

The bill cites similar measures passed by the State of California and the cities of San Francisco and Seattle.

D.C.’s council passed a police-reform bill last week; Mayor Muriel Bowser said she was in favor of reform in general but had misgivings about the bill.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich hasn’t commented on the county bill but said last week that “there are things we absolutely have to change” about policing.

Read the bill.

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