WASHINGTON - It’s a story FOX 5 Reporter Lindsay Watts first broke in April - two police cruisers with four D.C. police officers inside, allegedly drag racing, crash into one another in Northeast D.C. last April.
The crash took out part of a fence at the corner of Polk Street, Northeast and Anacostia Avenue, Northeast. A cruiser’s airbag deployed - the crash was that intense.
More than two weeks later, two of the officers involved were cited in that crash: 33-year-old Jerrita Millington and 24-year-year Humias Khan. Khan was also fired after the crash. Police officials had said he was so new, he was still in the probationary phase at the time.
Last week, Millington accepted a plea deal, according to court documents. The deal required her to plead guilty to a charge of reckless driving and pay $350. The two other charges of aggravated reckless driving are then dropped.
Khan did not accept the plea deal. When FOX 5 reached out to his attorney about why, the attorney mentioned a concern that if his client pleads guilty to any reckless driving charge, that could end his career in policing. Khan’s attorney also took issue with FOX 5 using the words "drag racing."
"Under the statute, you know, the way my client was operating his car, the evidence will show, didn’t rise to the level of reckless. And I say that for a number of reasons. The evidence will show that there wasn’t a starting of the cars together, which you would associate with a drag race," said Attorney Christopher A. Zampogna.
Zampogna also argued his client was following and was cut-off by the other officer and claims many people (including other officers) drive at higher speeds in the District.
Court documents say on April 22nd, 24-year-old Humias Kahn pulled to the side of 33-year-old Jerrita Millington’s cruiser on Anacostia Ave Northeast. There was a brief conversation before Millington accelerated. Seconds later – Khan accelerated.
The same court documents say they used speeds that displayed a "wanton disregard for the safety of both persons and property."
Vehicle records had them going 48 and 49 miles-per-hour in a 20-mile per hour zone along Anacostia Avenue Northeast.
The two cruisers crashed into Willie Vann’s fence that day. Vann said he doesn’t know how to feel about the plea deal being offered. He does side with the rookie officer being fired but feels the other officers should get a second chance -- ONLY if the police department makes clear some actions were taken first.
"You cannot make a mistake like that not sort-of go through some sort of training. Some sort of driving training. Some sort of ethics training. Your responsibility is to protect and serve. You don’t something that was totally reckless but you deserve another opportunity and we just pray and hope you never make a mistake like this again," Vann told FOX 5 on Wednesday.
FOX 5 reached out to D.C. Police and are still waiting for an update on the three officers involved, and still employed by the department.
FOX 5 also reached out the Attorney General’s office on the matter of plea deals being offered in this case. In a statement, the AG’s office responded:
"Plea offers -- which require the defendant to accept responsibility and consequences -- are an important part of a prosecutor’s toolkit to hold defendants accountable and enforce the law, while efficiently using prosecutorial resources."
A source tells FOX 5 if every case went to trial, the court system would be overwhelmed.
Khan is due back in court next Friday, where we’re told his team is expected to present witnesses to argue why the case should move to trial.