State Watch

Washington’s Chase Young, NFL teammates testify in support of police reform

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A detail of the back of the helmet of Chase Young #99 of the Washington Football Team during warm ups before the start of the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField on January 09, 2021 in Landover, Maryland. 

Three members of the Washington Football Team on Tuesday testified before Maryland’s House of Delegates in support of reforms to state police.

Defensive end Chase Young, wide receiver Dontrelle Inman and long snapper Nick Sundberg all testified in a virtual hearing Tuesday before lawmakers considering a wide range of police reforms for the state, including the repeal of the controversial “Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights,” which shields police from prosecution in many cases.

In video from the hearing first reported by NBC 4 Washington, Young described how even as a high-paid football star, he still feels nervous around members of law enforcement and tenses up while driving near uniformed officers.

“I’m doing everything I have to do not to get pulled over,” Young said. “My mom is scared for me, my dad [is scared for me], just everybody.”

The team’s president, Jason Wright, tweeted his support for the players’ efforts and thanked lawmakers for letting them testify Tuesday afternoon.

Maryland’s largest city, Baltimore, was the site of passionate protests in 2015 following the death of Freddie Gray, a Black man who died in police custody after suffering a fatal injury in a police vehicle. The protests turned to violence in some parts of the city, drawing national attention after dozens of businesses were burned or otherwise damaged.

Six officers were charged with an array of offenses related to Gray’s death, but none were convicted.

Tags Anti-black racism in the United States Black Lives Matter BLM Criminal justice reform in the United States police brutality police reform Race and crime in the United States

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