DC Police Misconduct: Over 100 Arrested, 47 Convicted in Last 5 Years

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In the last month, three D.C. officers were accused in unrelated investigations involving child pornography, attempted murder and the running of a prostitution operation involving teenage girls.

More than 100 officers have been arrested in the last 5 years in D.C.. Most of the arrests involved alcohol-related traffic offenses or domestic violence.

Councilman Tommy Wells, who chairs the public safety committee, ran a hearing on Friday to address the issue. He said the arrests were “shocking” and put MPD Chief Cathy Lanier on the hot seat. In his opening statement, he said:

“These revelations have quite rightly caused great concern in our community. The police wield immense power and responsibility, and we count on them to keep us safe. The abuse of that power by even one officer hurts the reputation of all of our officers.”

Chief Lanier emphasized – several times – that the first line of defense against misbehaving cops is the public, and said that citizen complaints are their biggest deterrent:

“Community members calling in and telling us something is not right and alerting us some conduct of a police officer is our first line of defense.”

Lanier is now making all recruits take lie detector tests, and is moving to put body cameras on officers:

“Police agencies across the country are moving to the body camera system because it is one additional way for us to have accountability.”

The Chief also explained that the arbitration process is partly to blame. It has resulted in the reinstatement of officers the department had previously tried to fire. In one case, an officer involved in domestic violence got drunk, threatened suicide and fired his weapon in the air but was ordered reinstated. Lanier said that arbitrators often force her to keep bad cops over a technicality. She said that in the last two years, she has been forced to rehire 28 terminated officers:

“Being forced to rehire members who are not fit to wear our badge hurts the morale and performance of the entire police department, and does a disservice to the community we are sworn to protect.”

Kris Baumann, head of the police officers’ union, called the arrest numbers “indefensible” and said the union has long sought changes, including in hiring and retention standards:

“If there is one bright spot that District residents can take away from this unforgivable series of arrests and convictions, it is that the rank-and-file police officers are outraged by it and they will not tolerate it. There is no wall of silence; there is no effort to minimize the seriousness of these problems.”

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  • thruthhurts

    No wall of silence? Yeah right!

  • Cookster

    What is the criteria for hiring officers now? Methinks the hiring methods should delve deeper into these officers’ psyches and profiles.

    • Very Conservative

      I completely agree. And country wide as well. Here in the south I have a family member who had decided he wanted to be a cop a few years ago. The entire family’s reaction was “Absolutely Not”. He is dishonest, a bully, incapable of making intelligent or rational decisions, and we are all positive that he has some sort of Bipolar or other mental issues. We thought for sure he wouldn’t make it past the phsyc eval. Yet this past december he graduated the academy and has joined a police force. How n the he!! did nomeone pass him on the phsyc evaluation???? Worst cop ever. I lost all faith.

      • Harvey817

        WHY did you not let the PD know of your concerns? You are just as bad as he is for letting him be hired and not speaking up.

        • Very Conservative

          I did and so did his wife as a matter of fact. That still doesn’t absolve them from the fact that they actually perform a phsychiatric evaluation and still they passed him and hired him. Don’t try to place the blame on others when it is still ultimately their responsibility. You Harvey are just as bad, maybe you should put more effort into holding the people accountable who have taken on the responsibilities of hiring the best posible people to protect and serve. The same goes for you, technicallysane.

  • David Krug

    There really is no way to measure how much abuse a human can dish out in the name of “authority”. Especially if it begins to happen slowly AFTER a police person is hired. They only way is just ad the Captain said. Public reporting and public cop watching with cameras and/or camcorders. With automatic internet uploading capabilities.

  • Defiant

    ROFLMAO! The cops are operating child porn AND child-prostitution rings but the “powers-that-be” in DC are more worried about RE-instituting their decades-long illegal gun ban. Talk about regressing to Third-World status…

  • rediron1

    Hey look its a puppet run government all the whores are controlled by their past call it black mail if you will n leave a millionaire told how to vote, say n do. Now you got most of the good folks strugglin just to keep food on the table

  • Havin Nunavit

    Now, that, I believe.

  • Tim Brown

    The Act of 1871 created DC, a CORPORATION foreign to the united states, and they also call it THE UNITED STATES, all caps lettering, a deception / illusion / little man behind da’ curtain.
    DC has as much authority as the CEO of Bobs Corner Grocery Store. ( The one with the foreigner at the counter selling Ruskie Vodka )

  • technicallysane

    Many of the new police recruits are returning vets from the war zones and suffering with PTSD and likely on prescription drugs for it. They are very volatile and have all kinds of problems such as viewing the public as the enemy if they dare talk back after being stopped.