Racial Disparities in Howard County Law Enforcement Activities

The Police Accountability Task Force of Howard County (PATF-HoCo) has been alarmed by data provided by HoCo Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA) and reviewed at a Police Accountability Board (PAB) meeting, which shows SIGNIFICANT RACIAL DISPARITIES IN POLICING IN HOWARD COUNTY across many categories of officer engagements with Black/African American persons. This includes Black/African American persons being subjected to high rates of arrests, use of force, pointing of a weapon by a police officer, and adult/juvenile citations, all disproportionate with their demographic representation in the county. At the same PAB meeting it was reported that the PAB had received LEA data showing similar racial disparities for Hispanic persons across several policing categories.

In addition, publicly available data about Howard County Police Department traffic stops (*1) indicates that a similar pattern of disparities has persisted for years.

We believe you will agree with us that this data is deeply concerning and requires immediate investigation. Howard County Leadership, including the County Executive, County Council, Law Enforcement Agencies, and Police Accountability Board, needs to act urgently to account for these disparities and ensure that Howard County Law Enforcement Officers are not engaging in discriminatory treatment of people of color. PATF-HoCo is engaging with County Leadership to deliver this message, and we need your help!

We must collectively tell County Leadership to ACT NOW by:

  1. securing an analysis of these racial disparities (which should cover all racial groups) by an independent third-party expert in the field of police accountability;

  2. developing metrics/targets and a strategy/plan to reduce racial disparities

  3. establishing a legal requirement for the LEAs to periodically report and publish information, including demographic data, on officer engagements with the public.

We are organizing an email blitz to County Leadership, and your participation in this email campaign is simple; just click 'Start Writing' !  An email will automatically be sent to the County Executive, County Council members, Law Enforcement leadership, and members of the Police Accountability Board.

This is a time sensitive matter, so, if possible, please send your message today! Also, feel free to share these instructions with others who want strong police accountability in Howard County and encourage them to participate. We hope to generate a flood of emails to send a strong message to County Leadership. Your support is critical to the success of our campaign to get immediate action!

You can visit our website https://www.patf-hoco.com/ for more information. If you have specific questions, you can reach us at patf.hoco@gmail.com.

Thank you for your support!

*1 - Link to Race-Based Traffic Stop Data Dashboard