Last Thursday, David Kerstetter was shot and killed by a Metropolitan Police Department officer. Kerstetter lived just south of Logan Circle in a condo. Two officers responded to his address after receiving a call that his door was open or that he was suicidal (the stories are conflicting). We wrote about the incident here and here.
Kerstetter was well known to police and neighbors as deeply troubled. He was under 6 feet tall, according to neighbors, and was all skin and bones (he looked like he had stopped eating).
When police arrived, he allegedly had a knife. He and the officers allegedly got into a scuffle. One of the officers shot and killed Kerstetter. Both officers are being investigated for their use-of-force.
One resident saw Kerstetter being taken out on a stretcher. “They had a breathing mask over him and a blanket thrown over the main part of his torso,” the resident says. “People got the idea that they didn’t want us to know that he was already dead.”
Whatever really transpired inside Kerstetter’s condo is still a mystery. All we really know is the victim’s name. As usual, the MPD refuses to reveal the officers’ names.
I called Traci Hughes, the department’s spokesperson, and asked for them anyway this afternoon.
“I don’t have the names,” Hughes said.
Let’s pause for a moment on that answer. OK.
Hughes went on to ask this reporter: “Why would you be interested in the names of the officers who responded?”
Hmm. Because one of the officers shot and killed a District resident. Whether the shooting was justified or not, readers have a right to know who both these officers are. We have a right to know whether they have any citizen complaints, whether they’ve been the subject of a lawsuit, and how long they have worked in the Third District. And, finally, did they know David Kerstetter?