Maryland Is Looking To Outlaw The ‘Rough Rides’ Practice That Killed Freddie Gray

In Maryland, politicians are currently considering a bill that would outlaw the rampant police practice of “rough rides,” where officers throw civilians in the back of their cars without buckling them or upholding basic driving safety laws.

The legislation, sponsored by Senator Joan Carter Conway, would require that officers buckle passengers in, fining offending officers for $10,000 if they seriously injure or kill passengers, which feels incredibly low when we’re talking about human lives.

The bill was introduced after April 2015, when a young Freddie Gray died handcuffed in the back of a Baltimore police van during a rough ride. During the trial of William Porter, one of the six officers facing charges in his death, a prosecutor claimed Gray’s death could have easily been prevented had the officers simply buckled him in.

The president of the Maryland State Fraternal Order of Police Vince Canales claims he understands the push for this bill, but doesn’t want officers to be charged $10,000 for injuring detainees which speaks volumes about where his true concerns lie.

Matters are made worse by the fact that a good number of Maryland transport vans don’t have seat belts in the first place. Hopefully this legislation will make it all the way through to ensure a fractional increase in police accountability.