Retired D.C. cop Stuart Smith responds to the current edition of Suit Yourself, our weekly feature detailing lawsuits filed against the District, in which a Ward 5 man is suing local cops for assault and harrassment:

Possibly the worst thing about this case is the many hours that city employees (police supervisors and attorneys) have spent and will spend attempting to investigate these “allegations”.

This is not to say that citizens have never been victims of police abuse, or that those victims are nor due compensation, but if a citizen complains that, while speeding, he was stopped and issued a ticket, the officer’s captain will end up spending at least ten hours detailing his/her interviews of the complaining citizen, the officer or officers accused, and any number of putative witnesses. This is true even when the “complaint” doesn’t allege any violation of law or policy.

Perhaps the greatest irony is that this kind of suit distracts us from legitimate complaints.

Also, in my twenty-seven years on the MPD, I have never met an officer who could be cowed by hearing that a suspec’s sister (or father, brother or mother) was an attorney. Being the brother of a police official might be another matter.

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