Jewish tradition teaches that “One must not stand idly by while your neighbor’s blood is shed” (Leviticus 19:16). Millions of us have witnessed the life of George Floyd end beneath the knee of a police officer as fellow officers stood by and ignored pleas to intervene, just one recent death in a long line of Black people abused and killed by police officers across this country — including right here in Baltimore County.
County Councilmember Julian Jones has introduced bill #73-20 to hold Baltimore County police accountable to the community, restrict use of force, and to make sure that officers who do the right thing are protected from retaliation.
JUFJ leaders submitted public testimony in support of this bill during the County Council work session on Tuesday, 7/28. Read below to learn why JUFJ leader Jessica Krasnick supports this bill.
Thank you for the opportunity to address the council.
My name is Jessica Krasnick and I am a citizen of the 6th district, a mom, and a public school teacher, and I’m here to speak in favor of Council member Jones’ Police Reform bill.
Chair Bevins, you said you appreciate how important this topic is to Council Member Jones’, and this should also be equally as important to you and to all of the Councilmembers.
There has been a question posted about how if this bill is passed, an officer will take an extra few seconds when making decisions to think about if this is in compliance. However, Mr. Rose made a great point when he said that it is a matter of training. If we pass this bill, officers will know exactly what to do because of the training they will receive.
Chair Bevins, you also said you chose Chief Hyatt for her speaking of de-escalation and community policing – this bill would help her achieve these qualities which we all want to see in our Baltimore County Police Department by codifying these standards.
Councilmember Crandell mentioned that 99% of arrests are done peacefully. 1% is still significant and this 1% results in deaths. As we speak about in the current Covid times, one death is one death too many.
I urge all of you to vote in favor of this bill, especially my Council representative, Cathy Bevins.