RELEASE: Mayor Young Signs Executive Order Barring the Use of “Gag Orders” in Police Settlements

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.




Bernard C. “Jack” Young


City of Baltimore

250 City Hall • Baltimore, Maryland 21202 • 410-396-3835



September 16, 2019


Lester Davis
443-835-0784 (Mobile)


Mayor Young Signs Executive Order Barring the Use of “Gag Orders” in Police Settlements

Executive Order affirms the City’s belief in the dignity of Baltimore’s residents and recognizes the importance of their personal agency in speaking truth to power

BALTIMORE, MD.  — On Friday, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young signed an Executive Order that ensures transparency in police-involved litigation.

“I believe that people who bring a claim forward against the City, and receive a settlement should absolutely be able to speak their truth,” said Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. “I signed the Executive Order as affirmation that Baltimore will never again restrict anyone from speaking openly about their experiences with their government. This is a basic right that should never be limited.”

According to the Executive Order, it is the policy of the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore that unreasonable constraints on free speech rights are categorically contrary to the best interests of the City and its residents, and do not meaningfully contribute to the restoration of trust between members of the broader community and police officers and other public servants. As such, unreasonable constraints will not be employed in the Release and Settlement Agreements routinely executed in the settlement of litigation against the City, its departments, agencies, commissions, officials, and employees.

“I am pleased to join with Mayor Young in emphasizing the City’s unwavering commitment to transparency and accountability in regard to police-citizen relationships,” City Solicitor Andre M. Davis said. “The Law Department is working hard every day to help restore trust in our residents’ relationship with the Police Department. The Mayor’s Executive Order is another step toward that goal.”

Mayor Young and Solicitor Davis met in early August with members from the ACLU of Maryland and Ms. Tawanda Jones, a local civil rights activist, whose brother died in police custody in 2013. Mayor Young pledged his support for freedom of speech and promised to issue an Executive Order memorializing this fact. The Order took effect Friday and applies retroactively to people who’ve settled claims against the City in the past.