Maryland’s highest court votes to restore names of police officers to online database


Maryland’s highest court voted unanimously Tuesday to restore the names of police officers to a statewide database of court records and for the fix to take place by the end of the week.

The judges moved quickly to reverse a controversial decision that had blocked online public access to information previously available about arresting officers and the names of other law enforcement officials involved in criminal cases. The change was criticized by lawyers, civil rights advocates and journalists who rely on the database to identify patterns of misconduct and to hold police accountable.

“We are accountable. We will address this error,” Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera said before the court voted to put back the names of police officers.

“Sometimes small mistakes can have big consequences and that’s what happened here.”

The Court of Appeals initially signed off on stripping out the officer names last June at the recommendation of an advisory committee and said last week that the policy came in response to concerns about the safety of law enforcement. Read more…