The fatal police shooting of Leonard Shand in Hyattsville was the most recent case of what an American Civil Liberties Union legal associate says is an ongoing failure by Maryland police departments to de-escalate situations with people who may have mental health issues.
Officials with the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Hyattsville City Police Department and the Mount Rainier Police Department have identified the officers who fired their guns during last week’s fatal police shooting of Leonard Shand.
Mount Rainier’s city manager office remains vacant as city officials try to figure out a recruitment plan to find a replacement. During a special session, Mount Rainier City Council discussed the issue during its Sept. 24, 2019, meeting. Mount Rainier’s human resources director D’alizza Mercedes told City Council the lack of a city manager has caused “turmoil” for city staff. “The fact that we are in a very interesting position without a city manager is quite difficult,” said Mercedes before Council during a special meeting called Sept.
Braatz thanked city residents, and highlighted her administration’s economic development, tax, and infrastructure policies during her three-and-a-half year tenure with the city. She also said she will be announcing a new position of some sort.
Mount Rainier city officials appear to have publicly identified a former employee who filed sexual harassment complaints against the city. The identification of the former employee by city officials comes amid new media reports of allegations of sexual harassment and financial irregularities within the Mount Rainier City Police Department that first came to light in 2018. Such a revelation also runs counter to state personnel record disclosure laws, potentially exposing the city to legal liability. Maryland state laws, particularly its Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights, Public Information Act and Open Meetings Act, grant broad protections against the disclosure or public discussion of personnel records of government employees by government employees. Mount Rainier city officials have recently used these laws as the legal justification to withhold the identities of officers and police staff who may have been the subject – either as accused or accusers – of 2018’s investigations.
The Maryland State Highway Administration is currently in the process of re-designing the surface of Queens Chapel Road in Prince George’s County. The bad news: it doesn’t go far enough to enhance pedestrian or cyclist safety.