(Washington DC) The District of Columbia’s Office of Police Complaints (OPC) announced today that it intends to abide by Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s Executive Order 2011-174, “Disclosure of Status of Individuals: Policies and Procedures of District of Columbia Agencies.” Although not strictly bound by the terms of the order, OPC will voluntarily comply with its relevant provisions.
The executive order, issued by the Mayor on Wednesday, October 19, 2011, generally prohibits the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and other District public safety agencies that employ law enforcement officers from inquiring into an individual’s immigration status or reporting it to federal immigration authorities.
As the District’s police accountability agency, OPC has made special outreach efforts in communities that might otherwise be reluctant to report allegations of police misconduct based on a fear of such an inquiry. OPC’s practice of not inquiring into and non-disclosure of immigrant status mirrors the Mayor’s order.
“Inquiring into or disclosing an individual’s immigration status during the course of an investigation could discourage reporting of police misconduct,” said Philip K. Eure, OPC’s executive director. In following the Mayor’s order, OPC renews its commitment to remove barriers to filing complaints of police wrongdoing, to provide equitable services, and to ensure city resources are spent on District priorities.
Because OPC investigates complaints of both discrimination and harassment by MPD officers, among other types of allegations, the agency can pursue violations of the order that fall within the agency’s authority.
“The Office of Police Complaints is committed to investigating alleged violations of the Mayor’s executive order that come under the agency’s jurisdiction,” said Eure.
For more information about OPC, visit at www.policecomplaints.dc.gov.