Baltimore County lawmakers struck a deal Tuesday to pass police reform legislation.
Last month, the county council shelved controversial reform legislation. Tuesday’s compromise has the support of the county executive, and six of the seven council members.
Some wording has been changed to get the compromise. For instance, Councilman Julian Jones’ original legislation banned chokeholds, period. The proposal announced Tuesday said they can be used in defense against death or serious bodily injury.
At a news conference in Towson on Tuesday, Jones said the new legislation takes into account the possibility that a police officer is not being malicious when a confrontation escalates.
“So there were concerns about those things being against the law and police officers being in violation of the law when they did not do anything intentionally wrong,” he said.
Jones said in an interview afterward that in the legislative process, you sometimes have to give things up to get proposals passed.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski stayed mostly silent during last month’s council debate over police reform. Olszewski said at the time his administration was working with the police department to implement many of the changes Jones was calling for in his legislation.
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