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Ward 8 Democrats Calls for Public Hearing of 7th District MPD

12/30/2013, 3:01 p.m.
Courtesy of Ben Schumin

The Ward 8 Democrats called upon the Council of the District of Columbia on Monday to conduct a public hearing into the recent actions of the 7th District Police Department.

The call for the hearing comes after a series of incidences involving members of the 7th District MPD and residents of Southeast, specifically Ward 8. The most recent incident involves a young man who was shot in the back by police on Friday, Dec. 27, in the 2200 block of Alabama Avenue SE.

In a letter written to members of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee of the Council of the District of Columbia, Natalie Williams, President of the Ward Eight Democrats and ANC Commissioner 8A07, called for an immediate public hearing into this and other matters.

"Over the past several months our community has been shaken by the irresponsible actions of some members of the 7th District Police Department. It's time that we turn to our elected public officials for help in trying to get to the bottom of recent behaviors of the department," Williams said. "Incidences such as this and others in recent months involving officers (e.g. prostitution bust, illegal photography, kidnapping, etc.) is a clear violation of the public's trust and must be addressed on all levels for the safety of our residents, and for the good name 'of' and good faith 'in' the 7th District MPD."

Williams said she is working very closely with Commissioner Anthony Muhammad, Vice-Chair of the Citizens Advisory Council of the 7th District MPD, to support his efforts in calling for a federal investigation.

Muhummad said he would do "everything within my power to make sure that the investigations are conducted in a thorough and unbiased manner."

"While I appreciate the work of Commander Robin Hoey, I don't believe that its appropriate to have officers investigating their fellow officers; particularly on matters as serious as the ones we've recently experienced," he said.

Williams adds that the Ward 8 Democrats organization takes its role of being a voice for more than 50,000 registered voters very seriously.

"It is our responsibility to bring issues that are facing our constituents to the forefront of the minds of our Democratic elected officials," she said. "Our 2013-2015 platform calls for the "implementation of true community-oriented policing" which can only be accomplished through communications and accountability which is why we are getting involved in this matter."

Among the standing committees of the organization is the Issues and Legislations Committee, chaired by Rev. Anthony Motley, which has been instructed to make the matter a priority for its 2014 agenda.

For more information, contact Natalie Williams, president of the Ward Eight Democrats, at 202-904-9466 or via email at nataliewilliams9427@gmail.com.