State Watch

DC officers suspended after man seen being punched in face during arrest

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The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has suspended three of its officers after a video surfaced of an officer punching a man in the face during an arrest, The Washington Post reported.

A video posted by Washington, D.C.-based KillMoeNews on Sunday shows three officers surrounding a Black man who had his back along the fence in the Southeast section of the city. 

According to the Post, the incident took place near the 1500 block of U Street SE, near the Ketcham Recreation Center. 

During the arrest, the middle officer, a tall white man whose head appears to be shaved, can be seen punching the Black man repeatedly in the face while trying to detain him. A second officer can also be seen punching the suspect. 

MPD Chief Robert Contee told reporters that the three officers were arresting the 23-year-old suspect over a suspected drug transaction until they found a handgun tucked in his clothing during the search. 

Contee also said he was “embarrassed” and “ashamed” over what he saw in the video, saying that it was inconsistent with the department’s values, according to the Post. 

“The actions demonstrated in the social media video of Metropolitan Police Department officers seizing a gun from a suspect are inconsistent with the training and the values of the department and this incident will be referred to the United States Attorney’s Office for prosecutorial consideration and subsequently thoroughly investigated by the MPD Internal Affairs Division. Following this incident, three MPD members have been revoked and placed on non-contact status pending criminal and administrative investigations,” Contee said in a statement sent later to The Hill.

“MPD prides itself on treating everyone with respect. If anyone has concerns regarding the way they were treated by an MPD officer, we ask that they file a complaint with MPD or the independent Office of Police Complaints. All of our police officers are equipped with body worn cameras so that we have a full account of any interactions they have with the public.”

D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. (D) said Contee attended a Ward 8 meeting, telling those in attendance he will address the issue of people who are “doing wrong in the community,” the newspaper reported. 

Prosecutors said the three unidentified officers will not face any criminal charges for their roles in the incident but that their identities will be made public when their body camera footage is released later this week. 

Contee recently spoke to his police force, advising officers to intervene if they see one of their colleagues taking part in questionable actions on duty, the Post noted.


Tags District of Columbia police brutality Robert Contee Washington D.C.

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