(Washington, DC) – The Office of Police Complaints (OPC), under the authority granted to its governing body, the Police Complaints Board, will monitor the Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPD) response to the Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks! on Friday, August 28, 2020 in Washington, D.C.
Under the “First Amendment Rights and Police Standards Act of 2004,” the District of Columbia Council authorized OPC to monitor and evaluate MPD’s management of large crowds that gather for protests or demonstrations in the District. The legislation established policy standards for emphasizing communication and voluntary compliance, ensuring that citizens can exercise their First Amendment rights to protest peacefully.
OPC staff will operate in four teams throughout the day between the Lincoln Memorial and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and will be clearly identifiable wearing neon yellow “Assembly Observers” arm bands. Additionally, agency staff will be equipped with video and audio devices and information on how to contact OPC.
“It is important that everyone is allowed to exercise their First Amendment right to protest peacefully,” said Michael G. Tobin, OPC’s executive director. “So, our staff will be on the ground to monitor police interactions with those attending the march to make sure that happens.”
Anyone who experiences or observes police misconduct during the Commitment March should file a complaint directly through OPC’s website at www.policecomplaints.dc.gov/service/file-a-complaint or call the agency’s 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-866-588-0569.