Edmonston police officers are now required to at least attempt to stop other officers from using inappropriate levels of force. The new rule was incorporated into the city police department’s “General Orders,” a document that lays out standard practices for police operations. It was announced in a June 13, 2020, email to Edmonston city residents. In the announcement, Edmonston Chief of Police Demetrious Harris said the new rule was a reaction to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police May 25, 2020. “The purpose of this order is to establish operational guidelines meant to create a culture to prevent another death like George Floyd’s,” reads the announcement.
Edmonston Mayor Tracy Gant revealed she and her husband “were diagnosed with coronavirus” two weeks ago. She also vaguely alleged that “some people” attempted to make their diagnosis “a negative political issue.”
Route 1 Reporter sat down with Edmonston’s new police chief for a wide-ranging discussion about his career in law enforcement and his vision for the small-town’s police force.
A dispute over who will be Edmonston’s next chief of police has entered an odd détente, as Town Council has refused to approve Mayor Tracy Gant’s pick while Gant herself has not publicly forwarded another candidate for consideration. The dispute, which has gone on for more than two months, goes back to a vague part of Edmonston’s charter, which grants its mayor exclusive authority to “recommend” a candidate for police chief (as well as town administrator) to Town Council for approval. However the charter is unclear on what happens if Town Council does not approve of the recommendation, and does not give Town Council a method to nominate an alternate selection for these positions. Unable to secure three of the five votes of Council necessary to hire her pick, Gant summed up the state of the dispute in brief interview after an Oct. 3, 2018 Town Council meeting.
A two-building house-style apartment complex in Old Town College Park has a new owner. The properties, located at 7400 and 7404 Rhode Island Ave. sold for $1.06 million in a sale recorded Aug. 17, 2018, according to state property records. It was bought by a company called The Dorm LLC, which funded the acquisition and deeded the property to an Amar S. Dillon.
A crumbling Edmonston industrial facility is humming with life as new owners prepare it for use.
Located at 5310 and 5400 46th Ave, in the heart of Edmonston and Riverdale’s eastern industrial zone and just across the tracks from downtown Hyattsville’s eastern border, a connected one-story brick industrial office and warehouse facility was bought for $1.4 million in a fee-simple sale recorded August 8, 2018, according to state property records. It was previously owned by Edgewater residents Richard and Nancy Janelle. The combined 40,000 square-foot property has roughly 23,000 square feet of improvements, split between a 7,800 square-foot office building and a 15,500 square-foot warehouse facility. The new owner is an entity named Estelle LLC. According to records on file with the state, it lists a residential address in Silver Spring as its headquarters and identifies its registered agent as Ellen Cutler, listed as director of event planning at the Society for Science & the Public.
Edmonston’s Town Council remains gridlocked in a debate over who will be its next chief of police. “We remain at an impasse,” said Ward Two Councilor Sarah Turberville after the meeting. “It should be first noted that the opposition is coming from the very same Council members who scored the candidate that the mayor recommended the highest.” Per the municipality’s charter, Edmonston Mayor Tracy Gant has the exclusive right to nominate a police chief candidate for approval by Town Council. But the charter is unclear on how to proceed if Council rejects the mayor’s nominee.
As it appeals a lower court decision over the fate of the Bladensburg Peace Cross, the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission is asking for help from Bladensburg-area cities. Specifically, M-NCPPC officials have been approaching Prince George’s County’s “Port Towns” – the municipalities of Bladensburg, Colmar Manor, Cottage City and Edmonston whose history is linked to the old port of Bladensburg – to ask if they would like to co-sign on an amicus brief to be filed with the Supreme Court supporting the appeal at no cost to the municipalities. Amicus briefs – also called “friend of the court” brief,” are filed with Supreme Court cases by third parties to argue on side of an issue or another – At its meeting this past week, Edmonston Town Council considered the offer without taking action. The consensus was to see what the MNCPPC brief says before taking final action. In 2017, a federal appeals court ruled the Bladensburg Peace Cross, by virtue of its shape, unnecessarily entangled the government in religion.
Edmonston has no written policy governing usage of city vehicles by members of Town Council. But that could change soon.