ACLU-DC asks for minimal police presence during portion of policing, public safety community meeting

The D.C. branch of the American Civil Liberties Union is asking for a minimal police presence at two public meetings held in the District Thursday to hear community concerns over policing and public safety.

While the meetings are open to all residents, the ACLU issued a statement online asking for the lease amount of officer possible to be in attendance.

"We are pleased the D.C. Council is holding public hearings on concerns to public safety in Wards 7 and 8, and we are glad the Chief of Police Peter Newsham appears to be planning to attend the morning session," said Monica Hopkins, Executive Director of the ACLU of the District of Columbia, in a statement tweeted from the department's account.

"It's also important for community members to have an opportunity to share their concerns without feeling pressure from law enforcement. As some community members may fell intimidated and be more reluctant to share their experience with police officers in the room, we ask the Metropolitan Police Department respect the community's request and keep a minimal, if any, presence at the Thursday evening portion of the hearing. Given recent incidents involving the police in Wards 7 and 8, it is critical community members feel safe to share experiences with the D.C. Council at Thursday's hearing," Hopkins continued.