In January 1999, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams and Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey requested that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) review the incidents and handling of the use of force by officers of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). That request followed the publication of ...
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In January 1999, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams and Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey requested that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) review the incidents and handling of the use of force by officers of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). That request followed the publication of a five-part Washington Post series in November 1998, focusing on MPD's use of force. In that series, the Post noted that "the District of Columbia's Metropolitan Police Department have shot and killed more people per resident in the 1990s than any other large American city police force."
The DOJ examined the MPD's use of force policies and analyzed all reported incidents involving the use of force, as well as all complaints of excessive force and brutality for the period of 1994 to early 1999.
Through analysis of a random sample, the DOJ determined that in approximately 15% of the use of force incidents, the force used by MPD officers was excessive, compared to an expected occurrence rate of 1 to 2%. Other DOJ findings included disproportionate incidents of force used by off-duty officers (14% of incidents); subjects being charged with "assault on a police officer" when force was deployed (1/3 of incidents); incidents of a gun not found on the subject, despite officers reporting that subject appeared to be reaching for a weapon (22% of incidents); and excessive incidents of police dog bites (bites occurring in 70% of canine deployments, compared to an expected bite rate of 10%). The DOJ determined that MPD lacked a comprehensive program to minimize the use of excessive force, had an inadequate system for investigating citizen complaints of officer misconduct, and had significant deficiencies in its training program.
On June 13, 2001, the MDP and DOJ entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA), pursuant to the DOJ's authority granted by 42 U.S.C. §14141, to implement changes in the MPD regarding the use of force and related issues, including investigation of citizen complaints of officer misconduct. On April 9, 2002, the DOJ and MPD selected Michael R. Bromwich and his team to act as the independent monitor to oversee MPD's compliance and implementation of the MOA.
The independent monitor issued twenty-four quarterly reports, assessing the progress made by the MPD in complying with the MOA. On April 1, 2008, the independent monitor recommended that the MOA be terminated early in light of their assessment that the City and MPD achieved substantial compliance with more than 80% of the MOA's 126 substantive provisions. On April 7, 2008, DOJ approved their recommendation, and both the MOA and the independent monitoring of the City and MPD ended. Dan Dalton - 12/28/2006
Jessica Kincaid - 04/09/2015