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Baltimore Police leader named to police reform work group

Baltimore Police Commissioner  Michael Harrison speaks in 2019 about his department's efforts to fight violent crime. (The Daily Record / Adam Bednar)

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison speaks in 2019 about his department’s efforts to fight violent crime. (The Daily Record / Adam Bednar)

The police commissioner in Maryland’s largest city has been appointed to a police reform work group created by an organization of U.S. mayors.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison will be one of three law enforcement leaders on the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Police Reform and Racial Justice Working Group, the organization announced this week.

The task force’s assembly follows about two weeks of nationwide demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck as he pleaded for air.

The group — which includes the mayors of Chicago, Cincinnati and Tampa, Florida, as well as police chiefs from Phoenix and Columbia, South Carolina — will work to develop reforms that could be adopted by police departments nationwide to address police violence and patterns of racial discrimination, according to the Conference of Mayors’ statement.

“The recent killings of innocent black people have highlighted once again that there is much work to do with revising and improving the policies and practices of our police departments,” said Bryan K. Barnett, the organization’s president and the Mayor of Rochester Hills, Michigan. “We must do better, and we must start this work immediately.”

Harrison was hired in 2019 to help implement sweeping changes to Baltimore’s police department after a federal investigation found the city’s police officers routinely violated residents’ civil rights, particularly in black neighborhoods, The Baltimore Sun has reported.


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