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Office of Police Complaints Prepares to Monitor National Protest March in D.C.

Friday, December 12, 2014
Agency staff members will monitor MPD’s handling of march against police violence

(Washington, D.C.)  – The Office of Police Complaints (OPC), under the authority granted to its governing body, the Police Complaints Board, will monitor the police response to the National Action Network’s “Justice for All March” that will be held on Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.  Thousands are expected to participate.

Under the “First Amendment Rights and Police Standards Act of 2004,” the District Council authorized OPC to monitor and evaluate the Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPD) management of large crowds that gather for protests or demonstrations in the District of Columbia.  The legislation established policy standards for emphasizing communication and voluntary compliance, ensuring that citizens can exercise their First Amendment rights to protest peacefully.

OPC managers, attorneys, and investigators will operate in four teams between Freedom Plaza (13th and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.) and the U.S. Capitol (East Capitol Street Northeast & First Street, S.E.).  An OPC employee will also be present at MPD’s main command center. 

In addition, agency staff members will be clearly identifiable with black and silver jackets that display the agency’s seal on the front and the letters “OPC” on the back.  OPC staff will also wear labels that have “Assembly Observer” printed on them, and will be equipped with audio and video recorders.

“OPC is committed to ensuring that demonstrators are allowed to peacefully engage in First Amendment Activities,” said Michael G. Tobin, OPC’s executive director.  “We want to continue to be a resource for the community and increase the level of public trust in our police department.”

For additional information or questions, please contact OPC at (202) 727-3838.