OFFICER

Residents Share Concerns With DC Council About Police Tactics

At a D.C. Council hearing on police performance Thursday, residents shared their concerns about police tactics.

The number of complaints against D.C. police officers has reached its highest number in almost 20 years.

The majority of people who showed up to testify before the council were there to complain about police and their tactics. Many were supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“That since 2013, 90 percent of use of force incidents were against black residents and that most frequent incidents were of white officers using force against black subjects,” testified Nassim Moshiree of ACLU-DC.

“Many of its African-American residents feel that the police are being used as a tool to push them out of their neighborhoods,” said Marques Banks of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.

Office of Police Complaints Executive Director Michael Tobin testified about the growing number of complaints.

In fiscal year 2018, there were 780 complaints lodged by the public, a 77 percent increase over fiscal year 2016 and the highest number of complaints since 2001.

Tobin said the vast majority of those complaints resulted in the officers being exonerated of any wrongdoing

“Thirty of those cases we sent back to the district commander for their individual action with the officer, and 19 of those cases we sent to the police chief to issue discipline,” Tobin said.

Tobin also testified about a significant spike in police officers using force. In fiscal year 2017, there were 2,224 incidents, a 36 percent increase over the previous year.

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