7 DC police officers under investigation for misconduct

Seven D.C. police officers and supervisors are under investigation for confiscating illegal guns without making arrests, according to Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J. Contee III.

"In these cases the suspect was not arrested, and the suspect should’ve been arrested," Contee explained during a Friday evening press conference. "The firearm was taken and placed into evidence, however, the suspect was allowed to go free, and that’s just not the way that we conduct business in the Metropolitan Police Department."

The investigation into the officers alleged misconduct began when a community member made an unrelated complaint against D.C. officers on Sept. 11, Contee said. 

While investigating that complaint, officials discovered a separate incident in which two officers had confiscated an illegal gun from a suspect without arresting the suspect. 

Contee went on to explain that while those officers placed the gun into evidence, their written version of what happened during the seizure did not match body camera footage of the incident. 

At that point, officials continued their review and ended up finding five more members of the department who had been involved in similar incidents, according to Contee.

Altogether, two sergeants and five officers have now been placed on non-contact status while the internal investigation continues. 

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None of their names have been released. Contee said investigators have found a total of seven similar incidents, all of which occurred in the 7th District, which is located in Southeast.

As far as why this has happened, Contee said he doesn’t know.

"I can’t even speculate as to why that is," Contee told reporters Friday.That’s not the way that we train, it’s not the way that I’ve been trained, it’s not what we expect of our members. We expect our members that when they encounter armed individuals on the street who are in possession of illegal firearms that those people are taken into custody. In these cases, that did not happen. I wish I could tell you why. At this stage of the investigation I don’t know why."

The seven members of the department that have been implicated in these incidents were all part of a unit that focuses on violent crime in the 7th District. Contee said the other members of that unit have been temporarily reassigned while this investigation continues.