Black troopers in the Maryland Department of State Police have accused the agency of racism and discrimination, pointing to disparities in discipline and promotions, as well as underrepresentation and alleged instances of retaliation, reports the Baltimore Sun. “They had the paperwork. They had the proof,” said Senator Joanne Benson of Prince George’s County. “They had done their homework relative to the incidents that have occurred and the problems they were experiencing.”
Benson also said she is concerned about the low number of ranking Black troopers in the agency. According to statistics provided by Maryland State Police, Black officers make up 8.9 percent of high-ranking commissioned officers and 11 percent of the agency’s non-commissioned officers, with very few rising to lieutenants. Other figures from Maryland State Police show discipline against white officers decreased between 2018 and 2020, reaching its lowest last year. Discipline against Black officers rose in the same time period, the statistics showed. The data shows most Black troopers had minor infractions, but attorney Clarke Ahlers says discipline is sometimes harsher for Black officers regardless of the type of infraction.