Report: DC Police Deadly Force Appropriate

A recent audit of the use of force used by the District of Columbia Police Department has found that deadly force is not considered a problem with the agency since federal oversight ended seven years ago.

The department agreed voluntarily to Justice Department oversight in 2001 after it was labeled the deadliest big-city police force in the nation. The oversight led to a number of reforms and ended in 2008.

Shootings have reportedly dropped significantly.  Officers fired their guns intentionally 28 times in 2001, 30 in 2004 and 31 in 2007.  That was reduced to seven times in 2010, nine times in 2012 and 15 times in 2015.   Fatal shootings have reportedly been on average three to eight per year in recent years.

The audit came with 38 specific recommendations including the compilation of stats when officers “takedown” a suspect which would essentially be a report when a suspect is handcuffed, placed on the ground, etc.  That recommendation is one of a few that Police Chief Cathy Lanier said she would not follow.

Overall, Chief Lanier was pleased with the report’s conclusions about deadly force and said the department would be diligent about implementing many of the other recommendations.

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