WASHINGTON - A D.C. police officer who rose to a pivotal role within the police department was suspended, but is now back on the streets after taking under-aged interns to a bar and even worse.
She's been recognized for paving the way for so many like her, in a police department that has strived to be progressive. The praise has been strong, but Fox 5 uncovered some disturbing information about Sergeant Jessica Hawkins.
The DC police department has allowed Hawkins to tell her story repeatedly for the past two years since she came out as a transgender woman.
But Thursday night, interim police Chief Peter Newsham would not allow Sgt. Hawkins to speak to Fox 5. She's become the face of the LGBT liaison unit. But what the department hasn't shared are the findings of abuse of authority and unbecoming conduct.
She was born Billy, but is now Sergeant Jessica Hawkins, and her coming out as a transgender woman has been chronicled by many local and national media outlets.
Just this week NBC news broadcasted a story touting the 16 year DC police veteran as a woman who was helping build trust and easing fear in the district. But documents obtained by Fox 5 show a different side to the leader of the MPD's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender liaison unit.
Allegations the department itself found to be "extremely disturbing." Allegations that were first brought to the attention of higher ups back in June, and that were initially only part of an administrative investigation but then were sent to the office of the attorney general for review.
Just seven weeks ago, MPD's internal affairs bureau found the majority of the allegations were sustained.
Two separate complainants wrote:
Sgt Hawkins' bad judgement allowed her to, "take interns assigned to her unit out drinking with other MPD officers." At Freddie's a well-known LGBT bar in Arlington. The summer interns were both under the age of 21. One of them admitted to having a fake ID and showing it to Sgt. Hawkins who laughed at it.
The allegations also said Sgt. Hawkins showed the interns a "homemade video of her having sex with 4 men while she was intoxicated"
Both allegations Hawkins' admitted were true in an interview conducted with internal affairs where the tenor was anything but serious. Hawkins told investigators she pulled out her cellphone and told her interns quote "if you want to watch it, it's right here," and admitted to showing others an inappropriate picture.
Hawkins in that very interview admitted to buying alcohol while on duty and drinking the store bought vodka inside an MPD facility amongst others while they were on duty.
Her reputation amongst DC's LGBTQ community came into question because of her role in the unit. Allegations she gave preference to concerns from transgender citizens over others.
Officers claimed her role was undermined amongst her peers after her predecessor and now chairman of the DC police FOP, Sgt Matthew Mahl incited tensions between her and the gay community after Mahl left the unit on bad terms.
DC police released this statement which reads in its entirety quote:
"Following misconduct allegations, Sergeant Jessica Hawkins was the focus of a recent internal affairs investigation. That investigation has concluded and the findings are currently with the MPD's disciplinary review division. The DRD will review and determine an appropriate penalty. Throughout the investigation, Sergeant Hawkins remained in her current assignment and is still widely considered a valuable MPD team member in our special liaison division."