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To: Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks
Stawinski Gotta Go: The Community Has No Confidence in Police Chief Stawinski!
The Community Demands for the Firing of Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski!
Why is this important?
The undersigned organizations and citizens demand that you immediately fire Police Chief Henry Stawinski. Since Mr. Stawinski became Chief of Police in February 2016, he presided over, and indeed failed to bring an end to a pattern and practice of egregious and racially bigoted criminal misconduct on the part of Prince George’s County police. These acts of misconduct include the brutal maiming of Mr. Demonte Blake on October 19, 2019. Chief Stawinski failed to order the arrest of the police officer who recklessly maimed and paralyzed Demonte Blake by severely injuring his spinal cord after stopping Demonte Blake for the de minimis act of driving with expired tags.
In this case, as well as in others, Chief Stawinski’s failure to hold Prince George’s County police to the same standards as those applied to black residents accused of violent crime so horribly offends us that we call for Chief Stawinski to be fired. As an additional reason for our displeasure with Chief Stawinski, we note his apparent opposition to outfitting all Prince George’s County police with body cameras. Indeed, Chief Stawinski objects to any meaningful reforms that would serve as a prophylactic against unlawful police state violence such as what we experienced with the maiming of Mr. Demonte Blake.
To be clear, we feel increasingly dissatisfied with Chief Stawinski for the following reasons:
1. Chief Stawinski fails to hold police officers accountable under Maryland and federal law for acts of criminal misconduct, including for such acts as murder and other forms of violent assault;
2. Chief Stawinski permits Prince George’s County police officers to use excessive force, especially when dealing with black people such as Mr. Blake;
3. Chief Stawinski cares so little about Prince George’s County residents that, when dealing with a verified allegation of police misconduct, especially when the misconduct harms black or Latino residents, Chief Stawinski repeatedly excuses police officers for their misconduct while using the Prince George’s County Police Department’s administrative procedures for purposes of concealing evidence of police misconduct from the public;
4. Chief Stawinski fundamentally ignores the complaints of Prince George’s County residents about racially bigoted acts of police violence and crime, especially when police officers perpetrate those acts of misconduct against black and Latino people;
5. Chief Stawinski allows racist bigotry to persist within the Prince George’s County Police Department to such a degree that both black residents of the county and several black and Latino officers in the Prince George’s County Police Department formally complain about this racist and grossly insensitive state of affairs;
6. Chief Stawinski opposes the outfitting of all Prince George’s County police officers and detectives with body cameras; and
7. Chief Stawinski opposes the immediate release of all videotaped and other recorded evidence of police misconduct, including evidence of police murders of unarmed individuals, such that Chief Stawinski obstructs the process whereby Prince George’s County voters and other residents may be able to hold you, the chief of police, the Prince George’s County Police Department, and others accountable for misconduct and mismanagement within local police operations.
In light of these conditions that exist under the leadership of Chief Henry Stawinski, and since Chief Stawinski positioned himself over the last forty-four months against redressing these and other injustices, he must be removed from his job as Prince George’s County Police Chief, In fact, he should be fired immediately. That being the case, we call upon you as the County Executive to terminate Chief Stawinski’s employment immediately.
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press conference and email