Washington Football Team star Chase Young is among the most talented athletes in the United States, and he fears for his safety during encounters with police.
The Prince George’s County, Maryland, native and two teammates testified Tuesday in support of statewide police reforms under review by the state legislature.
Young, 21, described getting “nervous” anytime he sees an officer in a store or on the road.
“I’m doing everything I have to do not to get pulled over. At this stage, I don’t know what can happen,” he said during a virtual hearing, noting that his parents worry too.
Passing police reforms would help protect residents’ safety as well as their mental health, Young said.
He was joined at the hearing by Washington Football Team wide receiver Dontrelle Inman and long snapper Nick Sundberg.
Inman wore all black and spoke about pain and “the change everyone is dying for.”
One police accountability bill would repeal the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights, or LEOBOR. The law protects police officers from investigation, prosecution and transparency. It originated in Maryland in 1974 and quickly spread to police departments across the nation.
Another bill, called Counselors Not Cops, would reallocate the $10 million spent on police in Maryland schools.
The Maryland Fraternal Order of Police is lobbying to keep LEOBOR and other police policies in place.
Washington Football Team president Jason Wright called Chase and his teammates “brilliant” and said they had spent time with law enforcement to be able to look at policing from multiple angles. “Proud they were able to support today,” he said on Twitter.
Young was named the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year days earlier.