Graham Report previously filed in heavily redacted version that did not allow full transparency of actions by PGPD
For immediate release: February 22, 2020
GREENBELT, MD – Today, Plaintiffs are releasing a largely unredacted copy of the Graham report (and related materials) following Judge Theodore Chuang’s ruling that the general public has a strong interest in learning about racism and retaliation in Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD). The report is being re-filed largely without redactions after Plaintiffs, Prince George’s County community groups, the public defender’s office, and state attorney’s office all pushed for its details to be made public. The Graham Report details how PGPD failed to respond appropriately to racist or discriminatory conduct, including for the use of racial epithets and offensive imagery. Michael Graham, a former senior officer with the LA County Sheriff’s Office nationally recognized as a police practices expert, makes clear what Black and Brown officers have been saying for years: PGPD has a policy and custom of unconstitutional conduct. Graham’s 94-page report is part of a federal court filing in HNLEA vs. Prince George’s County, Maryland, that also includes documented evidence to the ingrained pattern of race discrimination, retaliation, and abuse that permeates the County police department.
Highlights from the report, filed in response to the County’s absurd attempt to paint this as a few isolated instances:
- Two commanders repeatedly posted racial epithets on their social media accounts, and many others used racist or derogatory language to describe Black or Brown officers and civilians.
- The head of Internal Affairs made derogatory statements about the Black Lives Matter movement and conspired with the FOP to shield officers who had been accused of engaging in misconduct.
- The low severity or lack of any discipline for officers who made racist statements, including a call to bring back lynching.
- The failure to investigate complaints of racial profiling.
- The Department’s failure to adequately review uses of force against civilians, and the key role of officers who engaged in racist or discriminatory conduct in concluding those uses of force were justified.
- Seventeen Black and Brown officers who experienced retaliation following filing complaints that white officers engaged in racist, discriminatory, or other unethical conduct.
- Pervasive discrimination in the Department’s disciplinary processes, including terminations.
The plaintiffs are represented by John Freedman, Adam Pergament, Preston Smith, and Mei-Wah Lee from Arnold & Porter; Jonathan Smith, Dennis Corkery, Joanna Wasik, and Tristin Brown from the Washington Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs, and Deborah Jeon from the ACLU of Maryland.
Read the full report here.
Learn more online at: www.aclu-md.org or www.washlaw.org.