Leaked documents show top DC police blocked the firing of 21 current officers accused of criminal misconduct, report says

Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee and US Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger hold a press conference at the Capitol Visitor Center on Friday, September 17, 2021.

Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee and US Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger hold a press conference at the Capitol Visitor Center on Friday, September 17, 2021.Photo by Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

  • A panel of senior DC police officers overturned the firings sought by the department, documents reviewed by Reveal showed.

  • Of 24 cases in which dismissal was recommended, 21 officers were suspended or acquitted, DCist reported.

  • The criminal misconduct officers were charged with included domestic assault, stalking, DUI, and fraud.

An internal advisory panel from the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department acquitted or lightly punished 21 current officers accused of criminal misconduct, even though their disciplinary division requested their dismissal, documents reviewed by Reveal and WAMU / DCist.

The documents were made public by DDoSecrets, a transparency nonprofit organization, after hackers accessed them earlier this year. Reveal ranked the disciplinary records among the tens of thousands that were leaked.

The MPD Adverse Action Panel is a three-person rotating board comprised of high-ranking officers, and is overseen by Robert J. Contee, the current chief of police, Reveal reported.

The panel frequently overruled the Disciplinary Review Division’s recommendations, overriding nearly two-thirds of all layoffs that were requested from 2016 to 2019, Mike Gottert, who served as DRD director during that time, told the outlet.

Disciplinary files showed that internal investigators concluded that at least 64 people currently serving as officers committed criminal misconduct, 24 of whom they sought to fire. Of the 24 cases, the panel reduced the sentences of 21 officers to suspension or acquittal, DCist reported.

Criminal misconduct included domestic assault, indecent exposure, stalking, DUI, assault with a deadly weapon and fraud, according to Reveal.

Unlike other large police departments, the MPD protocol does not allow your police chief to impose harsher punishments than the panel recommends, leaving your highest-ranking officer with limited options, Reveal reported.

MPD did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Protests for racial justice in 2020 renewed calls for police reform and accountability, including how departments deal with complaints or misconduct by officers.

In many cases, police department leaders who want to fire officers with a history of misconduct are blocked due to department mismanagement or appeal processes, Insider’s Haven Orecchio-Egresitz reported.

Read the original article on Insider

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