It’s hard for the public to access information about police misconduct. To learn the names of officers or access records about them. And that’s no unintended consequence. This is how the system was set up to work.  

In this week’s cover story, City Paper’s Mitch Ryals explains how the Metropolitan Police Department, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia defend a system that allows the identities and bad actions of officers to stay secret. Why? So as to not to humiliate or make them unhirable.  

“We give police officers more power than other government employees, including the power to use deadly force. That should come with increased accountability,” says Amy Phillips, a D.C. public defender who’s made it her mission to investigate police misconduct. “I think that lack of transparency damages any relationship the police are hoping to build with the community.”

Read the full story HERE.

—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • In a public housing building in LeDroit Park, tenants clean and care for their own after inattention from their landlord “DC Housing Authority” and multiple COVID-19 deaths. [WCP]

  • At Thursday’s press conference, Mayor Muriel Bowser urged D.C. residents to stay at home for July 4. We have flattened the curve, but Bowser says DC Health is not satisfied with a plateau in positive cases. The good news is we have so far avoided a second wave of coronavirus cases related to phased reopening. 

  • As of June 25, D.C. reported two additional deaths related to COVID-19 as well as 31 new positive cases, bringing the total numbers to 543 and 10,159, respectively. DC Health published metrics required to move to Phase 3 on its coronavirus website. “We want people to be overly cautious about moving to Phase 3,” said DC Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt during Thursday’s press conference. She will also be looking to see if COVID-19 cases are sporadic or connected before recommending we move to Phase 3. Right now, cases are not connected, suggesting that there is still moderate coronavirus transmission. [EOM]

  • “It’s not clear” if the Council’s police reform legislation that bars D.C. police from using pepper spray on protesters would have been illegal when cops did this Monday, says Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen. [DCist]

  • Allen, judiciary committee chairman, recommends a $15 million cut to the mayor’s Metropolitan Police Department budget—a proposal that seeks to increase the police budget by $18.5 million—as well as recommends that Chief Peter Newsham undergo a review a year early to keep his job. Black Lives Matter DC says the cut does not go far enough. [Post, Twitter

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

  • Attorney General Karl Racine is suing a ghost gun manufacturer. [DCist]

  • John Falcicchio questions Allen’s proposed cuts to the police budget. [WTOP, Twitter]

  • Keeping 700,000 people disenfranchised is an official Trump administration position. The House is scheduled to vote on a statehood bill tomorrow. [White House, Atlantic, Post]

  • Nearly 20 people want departing David Grosso’s at-large seat. [DCist]

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

  • Eat, Pay, Leave: How to be a better customer at D.C. restaurants as they reopen. [WCP]

  • Call Your Mother converted a tourist trolley into a mobile bagel shop. [WCP]

  • The Wharf location of Colada Shop should open in early July. [Washingtonian]

  • Why bars are a breeding ground for virus transmission. [Huffington Post]

  • How are the country’s dwindling number of lesbian bars surviving the pandemic? [Eater]

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

  • Pandemic Poetry: a collection featuring local poets that speaks to life during the coronavirus crisis. [WCP]

  • Author Martin Walker’s latest mystery novel blends cuisine, crime, and canines. [WCP]

  • Here are the local theaters and venues canceling programming for the rest of the year. [Washingtonian]

  • Signature Theatre co-founder and artistic director Eric Schaeffer leaves the company amid sexual assault allegations. [Post]

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

  • Dan Snyder once told reporter Erik Brady that he’d “NEVER” change his NFL team’s name. “But, as he is finding out,” Brady writes, “never is a long time, and his time is quickly running out.” [WCP]

  • John Wall’s rent assistance program raised over $550,000 for Ward 8 residents. [NBA.com]

  • A local nonprofit has been selected to renovate D.C. three public golf courses—East Potomac, Langston, and Rock Creek. [Post, Golf Inc.]

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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