Washington Football Team players Chase Young, Dontrelle Inman and Nick Sundberg testified before the Maryland House Judiciary Committee during a virtual hearing on Tuesday to support police reform in Maryland.
“At this stage I don’t know what can happen,” Young, whose father is in law enforcement, said. “My mom is scared for me, my dad. Just everybody. I feel like people are just tired of just everything that is going on. That’s why I feel like we have to pass this bill.”
The bill would create a statewide use-of-force policy for police, which includes banning chokeholds and restricting no-knock warrants. Additionally, House Bill 670 would require every police department in the state to use body cameras by 2025, and it would repeal the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights.
Young's family has deep ties with law enforcement. His father spent 22 years as a police officer in Arlington, Virginia while one of Chase's uncles was a police officer for 20 years in Prince George's County, Maryland, where Chase grew up. Additionally, two other uncles and two cousins of Young's are police officers.
But even with this familiarity, the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year told the committee how he reacts when he's driving and sees law enforcement.
"I have tactics to where I'm looking straight forward making sure my seat belt is on, doing everything I have to do to not get pulled over. I don't know what can happen."
When he was little, Young said he wanted to join law enforcement and that he might still do so one day. But he said he would still worry.
"I would still worry about police in my community, about how I moved around or how they looked at me if I do drive up to 7-11 in my nice Mercedes, 'Why you giving me this look?' It's something that becomes numb and it's like everyday life. And everyday life is being real cautious all the time."
Inman described police brutality as a "disease" in his testimony, and the Washington receiver said this measure would help fight it. Sundberg, who is white, told lawmakers that he couldn't “imagine feeling some of the things that have been expressed on this call.”