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Police Complaints Board Issues Report on Proper and Timely Training of DC Housing Authority Police Officers on Contacts, Stops, and Frisks

Monday, May 11, 2015
Board recommends department examine their training and disciplinary process for officers

(Washington, DC)  – The District of Columbia’s Police Complaints Board (PCB), the governing body of the Office of Police Complaints (OPC), today submitted a report to Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Council of the District of Columbia, and DC Housing Authority Office of Public Safety (OPS) Chief Joel Maupin recommending OPS examine their training and disciplinary process regarding citizen contacts, stops, and frisks.

OPC received a complaint from a District resident alleging that three OPS officers harassed three African American men standing outside of a public housing complex by conducting an unlawful stop and handcuffing them.  Force was used by one of the officers during the incident, which prompted a review by OPS’s Use of Force Review Board (Review Board).  

Although the Review Board determined the force was justified, it was noted that the officers involved had very little information upon which to base reasonable suspicion for a stop or to conduct a pat-down search on the individuals.  

The Review Board also recommended additional training for the officers on conducting contacts, stops, and frisks.  However, during its investigation into the above incident, OPC uncovered that the officers never received such training.

As a result of the complaint filed with OPC as well as the department’s failure to properly address this issue, PCB recommends OPS examine their training and disciplinary processes regarding citizen contacts, stops, and frisks.  Specifically, PCB suggests that:

  • OPS follow up on the Review Board’s training recommendations and ensure that those OPS officers involved in the incident and currently on the force receive the suggested training.
  • The Department considers providing additional Fourth Amendment stop and frisk training to all of its sworn members, and institute progressive discipline in cases where officers continue to conduct unlawful stops and frisks after receiving training.
  • Given the age of OPS’s directive on contacts, stops, and frisks, the Department review DCHAPD General Order 301 to bring it up to date and make it consistent with the recommendations listed in the report.

To view a copy of PCB’s full report and recommendations, visit www.policecomplaints.dc.gov