Investigation into Allegation of Police Excessive Force to Remain Sealed
Police Spokesman Capt. Paul Starks said all internal investigations of the police agency are consider personnel matters and are sealed.
In a letter to Police Chief Thomas Manger Montgomery County Councilwoman Cherri Branson had requested that the details of the review of the Aug. 11 arrest be available to the public. She said in the letter that, “I believe it is crucial for this process to be thorough and I request that the results be made available to the public.”
Starks told MyMcMedia Tuesday, that report is confidential.
“Of course the people involved in the case will be kept abreast of the investigation and notified of its results,” Starks said.
Montgomery County Public Information Officer Lucille Baur said the Maryland Public Information Act does not require police Internal Affairs investigations to be disclosed to the public.
“Under Maryland Public Information Act, records of an internal investigation can not be disclosed,” she told MyMCMedia Friday. According to the act, “Records of an internal investigation pertaining to the alleged violation of administrative rules were “personnel records” pursuant to Section 10-616(i) of the State Government Article and, therefore, could not be disclosed under the Maryland Public Information Act…”
The investigation was launched after a WJLA photojournalist captured the video of a teen being arrested at the Germantown Commons shopping Center. According to the WJLA report, the officer responded to the center after getting complaints of teens arguing and smoking marijuana. WJLA reported the teen was arrested for failing to provide an ID upon request by an officer.
When reached Tuesday, Branson said she is not surprised that the police department won’t open the books to the public about the arrest.
“I think it is very difficult to say you have transparency in a process where there could be finding of wrongdoing and it is kept internally,” she said.
Branson said she expects to reach out to the Montgomery County delegation for help to get the act changed.
“If this is the product of a some state law then at that point it is up to the legislators in Annapolis whether they think that is OK. I am definitely going to write to the Montgomery County delegation and ask them to consider changing the law. It seems to me that this could be done without making a big deal of it,” Branson said.
The family of the teen at the center of this case could not be reached for comment.
The Montgomery County Police will not be releasing to the public the details of the investigation into allegations of excessive force in the August arrest of a Germantown teen. Police Spokesman Capt. Paul Starks said all internal investigations of the police agency are consider personnel matters and are sealed. In a letter to Police Chief […]
Montgomery County Councilmember Cherri Branson is requesting that the Montgomery County Police release publicly the results of an investigation of an allegation of excessive force in the Aug. 11 arrest of a teen in Germantown. In a letter to Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger dated Aug. 15, Branson wrote: “I am writing in reference to the […]