Metro (WMATA)

Metro Police Failed to Investigate Thousands of Reported Crimes, Inspector General Finds

More than 3,000 complaints were not investigated, the report says

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Adam Marcal wonders what ever happened to his case in 2014 after he says he was attacked and robbed of his cell phone on a train at the L’Enfant Metro station.

"I immediately got off the train, went there to report it to the police, right there at L’Enfant, told them the whole story, gave them descriptions, clothing, what the guys looked like, the time, the location," he said.

Marcal remembers weeks going by, those details getting hazy, and then no updates on the investigation.

Thousands of crimes — ranging from robberies to kidnappings — that victims reported to Metro Transit Police during an eight-year period were not investigated, according to a new report Metro's Office of Inspector General released Thursday.

Metro police didn't follow through with more than 3,000 complaints filed between 2010 and 2017, the report from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Office of Inspector General says. They included a variety of felony and misdemeanor offenses such as armed robberies, sexual offenses, kidnappings, assaults and other crimes.

Of those 3,110 complaints, Metro Transit Police could only provide minimal documentation for 1,445 of the complaints, the report says.

“MTPD staff’s failure to properly and accurately maintain investigative files, evidence, and/or associated judicial records obstructed OIG’s ability to determine if Detectives ignored victim complaints between 2010 and 2017," the report reads.

The report goes on to say that “failure to properly maintain investigative files could affect past prosecutions and appeals and loss of public confidence in WMATA’s police department.”

Metro's OIG said it began the investigation in August 2020 and made multiple attempts to recover all 3,110 investigative files.

"OIG has provided MTPD numerous opportunities to produce all investigative
material associated with these complaints, but MTPD’s production, to date, has been
incomplete," it said.

In a statement to News4, WMATA said the police department has since made improvements to its documentation and investigation procedures.

Read the full statement below:

"Since 2017, Metro Transit Police has implemented a number of initiatives for the Criminal Investigation Division (CID), including adopting new policies and procedures, mandating the use of an automated record keeping system, and creating a new case management process, in addition to changing leadership. Today, cases are investigated by detectives in accordance with standard operating procedures that are similar to those used by peers in surrounding jurisdictions. Additionally, Metro Transit Police management conducts reviews of all CID cases on a regular, recurring basis. Metro Transit Police has and continues to follow-up on the cases noted in the report."

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