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Happy Friday, D.C. You’ve made it to the weekend and here’s another reason to celebrate. Best of D.C. voting begins on Feb. 5 and we’re marking the occasion with a launch party at Pearl Street Warehouse. Come hear music from three great local acts, enjoy a beer on us, and vote for your favorite local businesses. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.

THE NEWS:

Over the past several years, the Prince George’s County Police Department’s homicide unit has been scrutinized over its interrogation tactics. Teen suspects admitted to murder in the early 2000s after being subjected to brutal interrogations. They were allegedly screamed at, threatened, and thrown into walls. 

An officer in those interrogation rooms is the co-founder of Blueline Security Services, who calls itself “the leader in the Washington Metropolitan area for complete security solutions.” City Paper has learned of more instances like this, raising questions around the Metropolitan Police Department’s existing partnership with Blueline. 

“Blueline has faced legal action a couple of times in D.C. since its founding, for an allegedly false arrest, for alleged negligence and, most recently, for an assault and battery case in which a Blueline security officer allegedly bashed a man in the head with a baton after he exited a grocery store bathroom,” writes City Paper’s Will Lennon. “According to the complaint filed at D.C. Superior Court, the man suffered abrasions and a skull contusion. That case has since been removed to United States District Court, where Blueline is being sued for $100,000.”

According to the most recent data available, in 2016, there were around 340 Blueline employees in D.C. To be an officer in the District, an applicant’s approval primarily rests on a criminal background check. But the mayor can make other investigations related to the applicant relevant if she wants to. Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

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  • Representatives for D.C. government attended Street Sense’s most recent discussion on the NoMa encampments after skipping the first one. [Twitter, WCP]   

  • U.S. Attorney’s Office releases hate crime data for the first time in years. It charged 11 incidents from 2019 as hate crimes—double the combined number of charges from 2017 and 2018 but far less than the 201 suspected hate crimes committed last year. [Post

  • Three years of crash data show D.C.’s most dangerous roads for pedestrians and cyclists. Top areas where the most crashes occur are in Northwest. [WUSA9]

  • Uber will test self-driving cars in D.C. [Verge

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Lottery frontman Emmanuel Bailey helped organize a campaign fundraiser for Ward 7 Councilmember Vince Gray. [Post

  • Events DC CEO Greg O’Dell received a $150,000 bonus on top of his $350,000 salary. [WBJ, Twitter]

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser will participate in a panel about neighborhoods this afternoon alongside Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar and NYT columnist David Brooks. [EOM]

  • Jonetta Rose Barras warns against the dangers of a one-party town. [DC Line]

  • More single adults are living on the streets of D.C., but officials expect an overall decline in homelessness. [WAMU]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

Y&H is out of the office.

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • In her illustrated memoir, Robin Ha chronicles her experience of immigrating to the U.S. with her mother. [WCP]

  • The Merry Wives of Windsor gets a ’70s makeover at the Folger Theatre. [WCP]

  • Be sure to see the Obamaportraits before they go on tour next year. [DCist]

  • A timeline of the Washington Monument’s failing elevator. [Washingtonian]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • WNBA champ and four-time All-Star Alana Beard, who the Mystics drafted No. 2 overall in 2004, announced her retirement. [ESPN]

  • American Ninja Warrior is coming to the DC Armory this April. [WCP]

  • Bradley Beal put up another show with 36 points in the Wizards’ 124-112 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. [AP]

MAKE PLANS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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Note: This post has been updated to correct the number of Blueline security officers in the District.