Center for American Progress

No More Fear: It’s Time to Reform Policing in Baltimore
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No More Fear: It’s Time to Reform Policing in Baltimore

Ben Jealous writes that Baltimore’s police need more transparency and accountability and highlights a grassroots plan that does just that.

On the evening of April 31, 2012, someone broke into Ashley Overbey’s home in Northeast Baltimore. When Overbey returned from work and noticed her home was awry, she called the police. The responding officers were rude, according to Overbey. They told her, “You live in Baltimore; what do you expect?” She called to file a complaint, and a few more officers arrived—some were helpful, some were not.

Then, as Overbey has recounted, events took an alarming turn. One officer shoved her against a wall and began to hit her. When additional officers arrived, one of them shocked her with a Taser.

Overbey was charged with assault and resisting arrest. The charges were later dropped. She sued the city and won a $63,000 settlement. But her ordeal was far from over. More than a year later, when Overbey defended herself online against accusations that she had instigated the arrest, she received notice from the city of Baltimore that she had violated a “nondisparagement clause” in her settlement agreement. The city withheld half of her settlement.

The above excerpt was originally published in The Root. Click here to view the full article.

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Ben Jealous

Senior Fellow