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So far this year, the city’s Office of Police Complaints has issued rulings on four cases of alleged police misconduct. In each case, the complaint czars ruled against the police. We’ll run down those rulings over the next few days, drawing what lessons they hold for working cops. Here’s the first:
Summary of Complaint No. 02-0361: On June 19, 2002, at about 1 p.m., a man was allegedly assaulted “with a leash attached to a piece of metal” and punched in the face and head. Later, the assailant allegedly “broke the complainant’s cell phone by throwing it to the ground.” The incident occurred at a bus stop, the report states, on 3rd Street and New Jersey Avenue NW. The complainant flagged down a 1st District police officer and was soon joined at the scene by two other officers. The assailant was then interviewed and released, the report states. When the man asked why his attacker wasn’t arrested—insisting that he had been attacked and injured—one of the officers laughed at him. The complainant, who was employed but homeless, then began “crying out of frustration.” As he walked away, he claimed that he heard the officer laugh and say “This white motherfucker is trying me.”
Date of Ruling: March 2
Allegations Sustained: “Insulting, Demeaning, or Humiliating Language or Conduct” and “Discriminatory Treatment”
Lesson: White motherfuckers have rights.