Maryland lawmakers are considering legislation that would ban “rough rides” by police officers for detainees while in transport. If the bill becomes law, law enforcement officials who fail to properly buckle in a suspect would be fined up to $10,000.
The bill proposed to the General Assembly is a direct result of last April’s Baltimore uprising when 25-year-old Freddie Gray was killed. While police investigation found no evidence of a deliberate rough ride that killed Gray, prosecutors indicate they intend to make the case the in trial against the six officers charged in Gray’s death, all of which pled not guilty.
Sen. Joan Carter Conway who is sponsoring the bill said it was just “common sense” to put prisoners in seat belts. The Baltimore Sun reports that more than 30 pieces of legislation has come about in the current legislative session with the intent on mending the relationship with blacks and law enforcement.
Lawmakers are proposing every jurisdiction in the state to install seat belts in police vehicles, make it illegal to not seek medical help for a detainee, have video recordings inside vans and put helmets on prisoners.