Police Chief Lanier Sparks Controversy for Calling Out DC Justice System

Lanier told the Washington Post the District's justice system is "beyond broken"

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier has sparked a debate among prosecutors, judges and the District's mayor just days before she's set to leave her post for a new job as the head of security for the National Football League.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Lanier criticized the city's justice system, saying "It is beyond broken... You can’t police the city if the rest of the justice system is not accountable."

Lanier has previously expressed frustration with the criminal justice system and said it allows for repeat offenders to be released.

But both D.C.'s top judge and top prosecutor disagreed with Lanier's criticism.

"The only thing I have to say is I don't agree with Chief Lanier," said D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge Lee Satterfield.

"I respect Chief Lanier. She's done a lot for this city, but we have a difference of opinion there. No system is perfect," said U.S. Attorney for District of Columbia Channing Phillips.

However, Bowser defended Lanier.


Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information

Jason Wright out as Commanders president, will leave team after '24 season

Covid levels ‘very high' in DC region

"The prosecutors don't report to the people they don't report to me either. Judges and others don't," Bower said.

When asked if prosecutors and local judges should be elected, Bowser left the door open.

"I would rather have our criminal justice system accountable to the people who pay the taxes here and are affected by crime here," she said.

Contact Us