Skip to comments.Christopher’s Law Finally Made it This Year: “This is an umbrella of protection” (Maryland)
Posted on 04/09/2014 7:28:15 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Chris Brown, left, mother of Christopher Brown for whom the new law is named, is with supporter, Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the Baltimore NAACP.
Christopher's Law was passed by the Maryland General Assembly and is awaiting the governor's signature. The legislation requires police officers to be trained in CPR, cultural sensitivity, the proper use of force, and interacting with the physically and mentally disabled. "This is an umbrella of protection," said Chris Brown, 40, for whose son the bill (HB0294/ SB0542) was named.
"This bill will ensure that police officers are trained in life-saving techniques. They already know how to take lives, and they've been trained to do that," she added. "So, we are providing the balance by teaching them how to save lives."
Brown's son Christopher was killed in a June 2012 altercation with a Baltimore County police officer. The officer put the 17-year-old in a "choke hold," ultimately asphyxiating him. Brown believes if the officer knew CPR and had administered it in time, her son could have been saved.
Dayvon Love, director of Research and Public Policy for Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, a for-profit advocacy group based in Baltimore that was involved in lobbying for the bill, said it was created in response Brown's death and the slaying or mistreatment of other Black teens by police officers.
"In light of the incidents with Trayvon Martin, Vernon Jordan, Marissa Alexander and Christopher Brown and looking at the way racism and White supremacy is embedded in the law enforcement system, it seemed like a good step to make more tools available to protect our communities," Love said.
The think-tank director said he hoped this bill would combat the innate "anti-Blackness" and the militaristic paradigm that is entrenched within U.S. policing.
"People think that when we talk about police brutality we're talking about officers who hate Black people. But we're talking about a society that socializes everyone to have a disregard for Black life," he said.
Brown and Love said the bill which failed last year was "undermined" by law enforcement because they felt it was an indictment against individual officers and because, they argued, they already had the discretion to initiate such training without a legislative mandate. It took unrelenting lobbying in Annapolis and in the community Brown and others visited all the state legislators, unions, schools, parent interest groups and others and the stalwart support of lawmakers such as Del. Jill Carter, who initiated the legislation, to move this bill forward, the advocates said.
"It was not some foundation that came down and gave us money to advocate for this legislation; there were no lobbyists or interest groups, it was [the] people in the community who were most affected that worked to get this bill pushed through," Love said of the grassroots effort.
Brown, who left her job as a stylist to free up her time, was crucial to those efforts, Love added.
Said the still grieving mother, "I was so angry when my son died, but then anger turned into movement. I want to show other mothers that good things can come out of bad incidents, but you have to fight for it."
Delegate Jill Carter, (D-Baltimore City)
Officer James Laboard found not guilty in death of Christopher Brown
June 20, 2013
excerpt. . .
Laboard was indicted last year on manslaughter charges in the death of 17-year-old Christopher Brown following a chase and ensuing struggle after youths threw rocks at his Randallstown home while he was off-duty.
Laboard was in his home on June 13, 2012, when he heard a loud noise, went outside to investigate and found his front door damaged. He spotted a handful of people running away from the scene.
Laboard chased the group for several blocks before catching up and struggling with Brown.
Police said Laboard called for help when the teen lost consciousness.
an earlier article from 2012. . .
Death of teen in fight with officer ruled homicide by asphyxiation
June 14, 2012 The Baltimore Sun
An off-duty Baltimore County police officer chased down a 17-year-old Randallstown High School student and killed him during an altercation Wednesday night, police said, after a group of youths threw a rock at the front door of the officer's home.
The killing of Christopher Brown of the 3900 block of Carthage Road has been ruled by the state medical examiner as a homicide by asphyxiation. No charges have been filed against the officer, James D. LaBoard, though the investigation continues.
Brown's mother and pastor are demanding answers about how an apparent act of neighborhood mischief resulted in death of the high school football player and church usher at the hands of a police officer.
Maybe the moral of the story is that if some teens throw a rock at your door, don’t get so angry that you chase them down and choke one of them to death, especially when he may not be the one that threw the rock, and although you may be acquitted at trial, the teenager is still dead.
But I don’t know exactly why he was acquitted...”the jury announced a not guilty verdict on manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter charges.” Maybe they felt it was justified for some reason, or said it was an accidental death so there should be no punishment?
Disabled Man Dies In Police Custody; Ruled Homicide
February 15, 2013
FREDERICK, Md. (AP) The Frederick County Sheriffs Office says the death of a mentally disabled man in police custody has been ruled a homicide. Cpl. Jennifer Bailey said Friday that the state medical examiner determined that Robert Saylor, 26, of New Market died of asphyxia Jan. 12. Saylor had Down syndrome.
Bailey says he died after resisting arrest by three deputies at a Frederick movie theater. An employee had called police because Saylor wouldnt leave his seat after a movie.
Bailey says Saylor cursed at the deputies. She says he became medically distressed while they were escorting him in handcuffs from the theater.
and the outcome. . .
Grand jury rejects criminal charges in death of Robert Saylor, man with Down syndrome
Less than five miles from the theater where a man with Down syndrome died at the hands of the law enforcement officials he idolized, a grand jury on Friday heard the details of the case and decided that no crime had been committed.
. . . . .
In February, the Chief Medical Examiners Office in Baltimore ruled Saylors death a homicide as a result of asphyxia. On Friday, Smith said that the report indicated that Down syndrome and obesity made Saylor more susceptible to breathing problems.
Krevor-Weisbaum said that Saylor had no ongoing health problems. She added that his parents had not seen the autopsy report, although they have requested it, along with all the files from the investigation. She said the family has been concerned that the investigation was handled by the same sheriffs office that employs the deputies.
The report said Saylor had a reported medical history of anger issues, especially when confronted or touched. Saylor family lawyer Joseph B. Espo has said that Saylor didn't like being touched, particularly by strangers. Saylor's obituary and acquaintances have portrayed him as a warm, playful person.
Police have said Saylor, who stood 5-foot-6 and weighed 294 pounds, yelled and cursed at the deputies after they confronted him for refusing to leave an auditorium where he had watched the movie, "Zero Dark Thirty." The autopsy report says one deputy then touched Saylor to remove him from the theater. When he resisted, the others joined in.
"In their effort, three deputies and Mr. Saylor all fell into a heap" in a side aisle of the auditorium, the report says.
The deputies then handcuffed Saylor, using three sets to accommodate his girth, while he was face down on the floor, according to the autopsy report. He became unresponsive and the deputies rolled him over. They couldn't find a pulse, so they removed the handcuffs and started chest compressions.
Did Christopher Brown have any contributing health problems, or was he just choked to death in the struggle with the off duty policeman? I don’t know.
Well ok... but also shouldn’t he have had a guardian present if he was going to get into potential problems in public. I mean someone could have bumped into him by accident and a row would have followed.
huffing and puffington post, huh. ok. blind pig, acorn, sometimes.
It’s originally from AP actually.
This is an echo of the loss of care in society in general. Who says they are going to give a hoot about this “training” next time a situation like this is actually encountered?
I mean you couldn’t even imagine Barney Fife doing some of this stuff.
Maryland “Freak State” PING!
His mother said at the time, "My passion right now is just that this doesn't happen to anyone else." Apparently she was effective in her lobbying, and if the Governor now signs this legislation, it will require police officers to be trained in CPR, cultural sensitivity, the proper use of force, and interacting with the physically and mentally disabled.
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James D. Laboard: Baltimore Cop Found Not Guilty Of Choking Teen To Death [VIDEO]
Jun 21, 2013 - excerpts. . .
The officer has not spoken publicly and did not testify. His attorneys declined to comment after the verdict, but had said during trial that he had only been trying to protect himself from a teen resisting arrest. There is no evidence that Laboard intended to kill, attorney Ezra S. Gollogly, said in court.
State's Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger said the state agreed with Brown's family that Laboard had used excessive force, but the jury had the ultimate decision.
"Brown's attorney, Russell A. Neverdon, said he has notified the Baltimore County Police Department that he intends a civil suit over the incident, an action he said would also target Laboard."
Neverdon said he felt the state did not emphasize to jurors that Laboard gave chase and then confronted the teen. He said Brown ran from Laboard and then hid in some bushes, and thus was not an aggressive suspect.
In closing arguments, Deputy State's Attorney Robin Coffin told jurors that Laboard had been enraged when he went after Brown, and had used a neck restraint that was inappropriate for police action. Baltimore County does not train officers in neck restraints, a police academy instructor testified.
"These are not the actions of a well-trained police officer," Coffin said, noting that he had nine years of police training in which he would have been faced with similar, high-stress situations. "He has a right to be angry but not to kill."
She said there was no evidence to show that Brown had made any actions toward the officer that should have prompted him to use deadly force.
Although Laboard told a responding officer that the teen swung at him, testimony from an assistant medical examiner said there was no evidence that Brown had made contact. She said scratches found on Laboard's arm were likely from when the teen tried to pull the officer's arms away from his throat.
But defense attorneys had argued that there was little evidence to show that Laboard was agitated or intended to kill Christopher Brown. The teen died after he had resisted arrest and as the officer was attempting to bring him under control, Gollogly said. The neck restraint Laboard used is considered safe by other police departments, he said.
I’m noticing in the article that the comments on racism are by a man named Dayvon Love, not by the young man’s mother who seems more focused on the death of her son and acting on that to get a result. She “believes if the officer knew CPR and had administered it in time, her son could have been saved.”