Washington, DC media have been reporting a lot of crime related and arrest activity happenings lately about district police. The term “to protect and to serve”, the motto first created by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), is one that can apply to all police departments locally and nationally. It is a slogan citizens believe police should abide by.
The mission of the (DC) Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is “to safeguard the District of Columbia and protect its residents and visitors by providing the highest quality of police service with integrity, compassion, and a commitment to innovation that integrates people, technology and progressive business systems”. However the integrity and tact of some police officers can be questioned, since 17 of them have been arrested thus far this year. Ken Molestina from WUSA9 wrote that Washington, DC police officers are being investigated through the Internal Affairs Department which has stemmed from personnel reviews. He also reported that Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the department is doing everything it can to “weed out” officers who “go out on their own”. Lanier is attributing the number of arrests mainly to two things: a troubling economy and an aggressive approach from the department’s Internal Affairs division to go after officers suspected of wrongdoing.
She added, “It’s extremely unfortunate that we have people who have decided to tarnish the badge that they wear…but I think it’s also a positive thing that we have not only police officers that are willing to tell on other officers, but we have an aggressive Internal Affairs division. All of these members have been arrested by us.”
Most of the arrests deal with DUI and domestic offenses. Lanier added, “The cases that concern me more are the cases that officers use their positions to engage in criminal activity.”
Recent district arrests of officers from media reports include:
- A DC police officer identified as Kenneth Furr, who fired his weapon hitting at least one person. A verbal altercation happened which led to the shooting. It happened on Friday, August 26th around 5:25am at First and Pierce Street NW (Washington Post)
- Second District Police Sgt. Aisha Hackley was arrested for stealing money from an 85-year-old woman and forging checks totaling over $43,000 dollars (WUSA9)
- Fourth district officers Guillermo Ortiz, Silvestre Bonilla and Dionei Hernandez in a sting operation trying to purchase electronic stolen goods (NBC4 Washington)
- Fourth District officer Jennifer Green arrested for taking cash from a crime scene (WTTG-FOX5)
- Veteran DC officer Richmond Diallo Binns Phillips, charged with killing a 20-year-old woman and her 11-month-old child (Washington Times)
- MPD officer Andre Davis arrested on theft charges for not returning a car to an airport rental company (Washington ABC7)
The DUI and domestic/assault cases were highest in 2009 and 2010, but criminal activity has topped the list so far in 2011. MPD provided this data to WUSA9 –
2011 – Criminal Activity (6), Domestic/Assault (1), DUI (4)
2010 – Criminal Activity (1), Domestic/Assault (6), DUI (1)
2009 – Criminal Activity (1), Domestic/Assault (10), DUI (9)
Total number of police arrests in 2010 – 17
Total number of police arrests in 2009 – 26
**Other arrests for complete totals on other different charges are not listed.
A video of DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier announcing officer arrests can be viewed below.