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Brown wants Attorney General’s office to handle prosecutions around police killings in Maryland

Matt Bush

Maryland’s new Attorney General made his first legislative pitch to lawmakers Tuesday.

Anthony Brown argued for expanded powers for his office, allowing it to do prosecutions for police-involved killings.

The bill grants exclusive authority to the office of the Attorney General to prosecute criminal misconduct in all officer-involved deaths or incidents where death is likely, “ Brown told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee during a marathon hearing Tuesday in Annapolis.

Brown says the move is necessary to ensure public trust in law enforcement, arguing local state’s attorneys work too closely with their respective police departments for that to happen.

“We’re not talking about inappropriate relationships,” Brown said. “We’re talking about close relationships when you’re asking a state’s attorney to now investigate and prosecute a case against the very men and women that they work everyday in fighting crime in our community.”

Nearly all state’s attorneys in Maryland are opposed to the measure, as are various law enforcement agencies.

In testimony to the committee, they argued concerns that the Attorney General’s office isn’t equipped to handle such investigations and prosecutions.

The Independent Investigations Division was created within the office of the Attorney General two years ago.

It currently does investigations into police-involved killings, and must file a report within 15 days of concluding an investigation to the State’s Attorney for the jurisdiction where the incident took place.

Matt Bush spent 14 years in public radio prior to coming to WYPR as news director in October 2022. From 2008 to 2016, he worked at Washington D.C.’s NPR affiliate, WAMU, where he was the station’s Maryland reporter. He covered the Maryland General Assembly for six years (alongside several WYPR reporters in the statehouse radio bullpen) as well as both Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. @MattBushMD
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