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Office of Police Complaints Prepares to Monitor March for Our Lives Rally

Friday, March 23, 2018
Agency will observe D.C. police interactions during the event

WASHINGTON, DC – The Office of Police Complaints (OPC), under the authority granted to its governing body, the Police Complaints Board (PCB), will monitor the Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPD) response to the  March for Our Lives rally on Saturday, March 24 in Washington, D.C.

OPC staff will operate in three teams and monitor the rally area at the stage between 3rd & 4th Street, NW to the rally entrances from 3rd Street to 12th Street, NW.  Agency staff will be clearly identifiable wearing black and silver jackets that display OPC’s logo and neon yellow “Assembly Observer” arm bands.  In addition, the Assembly Observers will be equipped with video and audio recorders.

"We don’t expect any issues or concerns to arise between the police and the young people coming to D.C. for the rally,” said Michael G. Tobin, OPC’s executive director.  “However, if something does occur, we want to make sure that everyone will be allowed to exercise their First Amendment rights.”

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.

Anyone who experiences or observes police misconduct during the March for Our Lives Rally 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.

For additional information or questions, please contact OPC at (202) 727-3838 or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.