Bill enabling Maryland AG to prosecute police advances

A Maryland measure that would give the state’s attorney general independent authority to prosecute police after investigating deaths, or injuries likely to result in death, when officers are involved moved forward in the state Senate on Tuesday.

The bill would expand a part of a package of police reforms approved two years ago in response to concerns about police accountability after the death of George Floyd in Minnesota in 2020.

The measure was given preliminary approval, and a Senate vote is expected later this week.

The Independent Investigations Division was formed in the attorney general’s office to investigate police-involved deaths of civilians throughout the state. While current law empowers the division to probe the cases and provide facts to local prosecutors, it’s local prosecutors who decide whether to bring charges.

READ MORE: How police-involved shootings are handled across the DMV

Supporters of the bill say it aims to end potential conflicts of interest between local prosecutors and police. Opponents say it’s an overreach of state powers over locally elected prosecutors.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.