Police Officer Gets Desk Duty for Wearing ‘Racist' Shirt

The group Law4BlackLives says the shirt had a symbol used by the KKK

A judge has dismissed a gun case after prosecutors said an arresting officer may have designed a T-shirt that an advocacy group says has a racist symbol. 

The case dismissal is the first since members of the 7th Police District "Powershift'' unit have come under scrutiny for the shirts, The Washington Post reports. 

The T-shirt shown in a photo from the group says "Powershift Seventh District." A Celtic cross stands in the place of the letter O. The symbol is used by white supremacist groups including the Ku Klux Klan, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The shirt shows a skeleton holding a rifle and the MPD shield, with the D.C. flag as a backdrop. Below the image is the words "Let me see that waistband jo."

Law4BlackLives says the words are a reference to "jump outs" and searches of men of color for weapons.


The Seventh District covers much of Southeast D.C. east of the Anacostia River, including the communities of Anacostia and Barry Farm.

"This is disgraceful and does not represent the hard working and committed officers of the Seventh District," Police Chief Peter Newsham said in a tweet about the controversial shirt.

An internal police investigation of the shirts is underway. Prosecutors tried unsuccessfully to delay the trial until that investigation is complete. 

Prosecutors could refile charges at a later date.

Contact Us