Maryland set to award $300,000 funding for Capital Gazette shooting, First Amendment memorial in Annapolis

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the ability to physically gather in any setting, including coming together to honor the five people killed in the Capital Gazette shooting on June 28, 2018. Battling the public health crisis also has absorbed a significant amount of state and local government funds that have been hit with pandemic-related losses. But that hasn’t stopped the state from approving $300,000 to build a memorial called “Guardians of Free Speech” in Newman Park in Annapolis. (Balt Sun)

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Anthony Blue spent more than 40 years in Maryland prisons for a crime he said he did not commit. Then came coronavirus.

That day in late April, Inez Blue stared into the video chat. Her 63-year-old brother Anthony was lying in a hospital bed, his lungs deteriorating, an oxygen mask strapped across his face. For more than 40 years, the inmate from Baltimore — blind and mostly confined to his cell — had looked forward to coming home. As the light at the end of the tunnel became brightest, the coronavirus arrived. (Balt Sun)

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Carroll County police group to assess use of force policies, body cameras: ‘We’d be neglectful if we didn’t take a look’

Local Carroll County law enforcement agencies have formed a work group to look into addressing use of force policies across Carroll County and the feasibility of implementing police-worn body cameras. In the weeks after George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25, protesters across the country — as well as in Carroll County — have called for justice and police reform. Sheriff Jim DeWees and Westminster Police Department Chief Thomas Ledwell have fielded questions from individual residents about their policies regarding use of force and body cameras. (Carr Co Times)

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Chesapeake Bay's dead zone expected to be smaller this year

Scientists are expecting this year’s Chesapeake Bay “dead zone” to be slightly less than its long-term average — but a wide swath of the bay will still be off-limits to most aquatic life during July, when conditions are expected to be at their worst. In all, scientists expect about 1.37 cubic miles of the bay, or 11%  of its total volume, to suffer from hypoxia — or low oxygen — this summer. But in July, that is expected to swell to 1.9 cubic miles or about 16% of the bay. (Delmarva)

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Baltimore officers who opened fire on teen holding BB gun ‘shot first, asked questions later,' attorney says

Baltimore police officers “shot first and asked questions later,” when they opened fire in April on a 16-year-old boy with a BB gun, striking him in the arm, his civil attorney said this week, while the teen’s public defender is calling on prosecutors to drop charges filed against him. Attorney Duncan Keir said his client was playing with friends on a porch and that police jumped to conclusions that he was an armed threat. Body camera video released by police in May shows Officer Alexia Davis standing in the street on Erdman Avenue and shooting at the boy as he stands with others. A passing vehicle was struck by a bullet. (Balt Sun)

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ACLU seeks expedited review of Baltimore aerial surveillance ruling

Saying time is of the essence when the Constitution is at stake, civil rights groups are urging a federal appeals court to expedite consideration of whether the Baltimore Police Department’s use of aerial surveillance to fight crime in the city violates the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and the right to peacefully associate. In papers filed last week, the American Civil Liberties Union and its Maryland chapter objected to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ proposal to wait until September before hearing the groups’ challenge to a judge’s ruling that BPD’s Aerial Investigation Research program falls into the “surveillance techniques and tools, such as security cameras” that the Supreme Court has expressly upheld as constitutional law enforcement tactics. (Daily Record)

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Maryland: Gun buyers should expect background check delays

Gun buyers in Maryland should expect delays for background checks because of a “catastrophic hardware failure” in a state data system, authorities said in an advisory this week. The hardware failure has interrupted the ability of the Maryland State Police’s licensing division to fulfill background checks for regulated firearm purchase applications, handgun qualification license applications and state wear-and-carry permit applications. The state police said applications to buy firearms from a dealer will likely take longer than the required seven-day wait period, the Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday. (Daily Record)

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Citing a ‘catastrophic hardware failure,' Maryland State Police report delays in gun background checks and licenses

Maryland State Police warned this week of delays to background checks for those purchasing firearms because of a “catastrophic hardware failure within their data center.” The failure has caused an interruption in the Maryland State Police Licensing Division’s ability to complete background investigations for regulated firearm purchase applications, handgun qualification license applications and state wear-and-carry permit applications, state police said in an advisory Monday. (Balt Sun)

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