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Activists want answers after police shooting

  • Published in Local

policecar1 300x200 1More than three weeks after a Montgomery County Police officer shot and killed an unarmed African-American man, community members and activists are demanding more transparency from the police.

After prosecutors from Howard County, who are conducting the investigation into Anand Badgujar, the Montgomery County Police officer who shot and killed Robert Lawrence White on June 11 in Silver Spring, asked MCP to not release body-camera footage from the encounter, angering activists.

On June 27, two days after MCP officials met with Howard County prosecutors, Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger met with activists to discuss the shooting and their demands.

“I wouldn’t say that we learned anything new,” said Laurel Hoa, an organizer with Showing Up for Racial Justice Montgomery County.

According to police, White attacked Badgujar, and after a confrontation in which Badgujar attempted to pepper spray White, Badgujar shot White multiple times after White assaulted him again.

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Police hold back footage of officer’s shooting

  • Published in Local

policecar1 300x200 1Howard County prosecutors requested Monday Montgomery County Police not release body camera footage from a June 11 officer-involved shooting – a move that has sparked an outcry for transparency from local activists.

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police department met with Howard County Deputy State’s Attorney Mary Murphy Monday about the ongoing investigation into the police shooting of an unarmed black man, Robert Lawrence White.

On June 11, Montgomery County Police Officer Anand Badgujar shot and killed White, after police say White attacked Badgujar.

As per the agreement between the two counties, the Howard County State’s Attorney’s office is conducting the investigation into the shooting. Since the investigation is still ongoing, Murphy asked Montgomery County Police to not release body-camera footage from the shooting, according to T. Wayne Kirwan, a spokesperson for the Howard County State’s Attorney's Office.

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Balancing the social media fix

 

gavel2 1 The Courts have made it clear that public employees do not give up all their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech when they make statements on matters in the public interest. However, those rights are balanced against the government’s interest in controlling the operation of its workforce. How these principles fit into today’s social media world was explored in an opinion last week from the federal 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in a case called Kevin Patrick Buker v. Howard County.

The opinion indicates that Buker was battalion chief with the Howard County Fire Department, which in their chain of command placed him below the fire chief and his assistants and deputies. The Department in 2012 published social media guidelines, which prohibited personnel “from posting or publishing any statements, endorsements, or other speech…which could reasonably be interpreted to represent or undermine the views or positions of the Department…or interpreted as discriminatory, harassing, defamatory, racially or ethnically derogatory, or sexually violent” which may put the Department in disrepute of negatively impact its mission. The Department also adopted a Code of Conduct barring conduct through actions or words disrespectful to or undermining the Chain of Command.

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