Special session in Annapolis to address Freddie Gray issues seems unlikely

Maryland lawmakers have not seriously entertained requests for special session.

There appears to be no appetite in Annapolis for a special session of the legislature to address anything related to the Freddie Gray case.

While top lawmakers are considering forming a work group to discuss criminal justice issues, neither Gov. Larry Hogan, Speaker Michael E. Busch nor Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller have seriously entertained requests to bring legislators back to the State House, aides said.

"I don't think there is anything for us to take a look at," said Senate Majority Leader Catherine Pugh, a Baltimore Democrat. "There's absolutely no need for a special session at this point."

Meanwhile, civil rights groups called on Hogan to help resolve a fractured relationship between Baltimore residents and its police department, asking him to convene a special session to pass more comprehensive body camera laws and to invest cash in urban renewal projects.

The group, which includes the ACLU and the NAACP, asked the governor on April 24 to address some of the broader problems the case highlighted about poverty, police brutality and inequality.

"Freddie Gray's death is part of a larger systemic problem that we see across Maryland," said Sara Love, public policy director for ACLU of Maryland. "There is a serious problem with policing practices here in Maryland."

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