Maryland Requirements for the Investigation of Police Brutality
Maryland state law has specific requirements in place for the investigation of alleged incidents of police brutality. In any situation where the alleged offender could face termination or other disciplinary action, the corresponding investigation must occur in accordance with Maryland Code of Public Safety Section 3-104.
In order to trigger a police brutality investigation under Section 3-104, there must be a signed and sworn statement from:
- A person who sustained harm or injury as a result of a police brutality incident;
- An immediate family member of a person who sustained harm or injury as a result of a police brutality incident;
- A person with first-hand knowledge of a police brutality incident as a direct witness or through video evidence; or
- A parent or guardian of a minor child who was a victim of a police brutality incident.
This signed and sworn statement must outline certain details about the police brutality incident, such as date and time, summary of events, and medical harm or injury.
A victim of police brutality has a limited amount of time to file a complaint under Section 3-104. Specifically, this section mandates a 366-day filing period for allegations of police brutality. If the victim fails to file their complaint within that timeline, they will not be able to proceed under Section 3-104.
So long as it relates to the police brutality incident in question, Section 3-104 authorizes the investigators to force the alleged offender to:
- Register a test of their breath, blood, or urine for illegal drugs;
- Submit to a polygraph examination; or
- Respond to other investigations specifically relating to the incident in question.
The results from any of the investigations outlined above are for use in this matter only. None of those materials are admissible in a criminal proceeding against the alleged offender. Additionally, if the alleged offender refuses to submit to any of the investigations outlined above, then they are subject to punishment under Section 3-104.
During any investigation of police brutality under Section 3-104, the alleged offender has the right to request attorney representation. The alleged offender may also designate a non-attorney as their representative.
Either way, the representative has the right to be present for questioning associated with the police brutality incident. During any such questioning, the alleged offender’s attorney or other representative is allowed to:
- Conduct a private consultation with the alleged offender;
- Raise an objection to any question asked of the alleged offender; and
- Provide an on-record statement concerning an objection without the alleged offender’s knowledge.
For any investigation of police brutality under Section 3-104, there is a strict record-keeping requirement. Whether written, taped, or transcribed, there must be a complete record of the entire investigation, including any break periods.
After the investigation concludes, the alleged offending officer — or their attorney or similar representative — may request a copy of these records. Furthermore, these records must be made available at least 10 days before any hearing concerning the police brutality incident in question.
Let Us Help You with Your Case
If you have legal questions about police brutality in Maryland, it can be demonstratively constructive to contact a proficient police misconduct lawyer. The Baltimore police misconduct lawyers at Iamele & Iamele, LLP have represented clients in an array of police brutality. If you need legal help in this area of the law, contact us today for a free initial consultation.