JTF Statement on racist police violence in Ocean City

police_violence.pngThe Progressive Maryland Justice Task Force is appalled and disgusted to witness the violence and excessive use of force displayed in the viral videos that ended with the arrests of five young men in Ocean City on June 6th and June 12th, 2021.

In two now-viral videos, a young man with his hands up is tased and hog-tied; another young man, already handcuffed, is tased, held down by almost a dozen officers, and kneed in his torso at least five times, all in the act of enforcing compliance.

The JTF demands that this appalling abuse of police powers get a response from legislators beyond the predictable tsk-tsk -- that our elected representatives enhance this Session's watered-down version of police reform with provisions for community oversight in policing to ensure that police are held accountable for such heinous actions.



 

The Progressive Maryland Justice Task Force is appalled and disgusted to witness the violence and excessive use of force displayed in the viral videos that ended with the arrests of Brian Everett Anderson, Kamere Anthony Day, Jahtique Joseph John Lewis, Khalil Dwayne Warren, and Taizier Griffin in Ocean City on June 6th and June 12th, 2021.

In one of two now viral videos, a young man with his hands up is commanded to “get down on the ground.” As he attempts to comply, he is tased. His body convulses as he plummets to the ground before being hogtied and carted off. 

In a second video, another young man -- already handcuffed and being carted off -- is tased, held down by almost a dozen officers, and kneed in his torso at least five times, all in the act of enforcing police_violence.pngcompliance.

While the Town of Ocean City Police Department has endorsed the behavior of these officers in their attempt to enforce local smoking/vaping laws, we maintain that this behavior, which disproportionately affects Black and brown people throughout the state, is unacceptable and highlights the need for real comprehensive police reform and accountability in the next legislative session. 

All Marylanders and visitors have the right to exist in their humanity without fear of being violated by the state. When they err, which is human, they also have the right to due process. The officers of the Town of Ocean City denied these young men their right to due process, but more importantly, these young men were denied their right to human dignity.

In a statement, Speaker Adrienne A. Jones touts the police reform bill that passed the State Assembly earlier this year and “urges” Ocean City officials to make reviewing these incidents a top priority. We encourage the Speaker and her colleagues in Annapolis to enhance the watered down version of police reform with provisions for community oversight in policing to ensure that police are held accountable for such heinous actions.