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Changes to District’s Disorderly Conduct Law Proposed

Monday, November 22, 2010

(Washington, DC) The Council for Court Excellence (CCE) proposed legislation and released a report in October to DC Councilmember Phil Mendelson, Chairman of the Committee on the Public Safety and Judiciary, urging revision of the District of Columbia’s existing disorderly conduct statutes.

Over the course of nine months, the Office of Police Complaints (OPC) worked on the proposed revisions under the auspices of a CCE subcommittee that also included, among others, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the Office of the Attorney General, the United States Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender Service and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The group took steps to clearly outline what conduct actually threatens the public’s safety and what conduct is merely public nuisance, and if this behavior should be treated as a civil infraction or result in arrest and criminal punishment.

The CCE’s report also references a 2003 policy report and set of recommendations issued by the Police Complaints Board regarding disorderly conduct arrests made by MPD officers.

CCE is a nonpartisan, civic organization based in the District of Columbia whose purposes include identifying and promoting court reforms, improving public access to justice, and increasing public understanding and support of the local justice system.

For more information about CCE and its report, visit To learn more about OPC, visit our website at