Interim DC police chief addresses misconduct allegations against transgender officer

Interim D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said a transgender officer facing misconduct allegations is still going through the disciplinary process after a recent internal affairs investigation.

According to documents obtained by FOX 5, D.C. police are reviewing allegations that Sgt. Jessica Hawkins took her underage interns assigned to her unit out drinking with other officers at a well-known LGBT bar in Arlington, Virginia. She is also accused of showing the interns a "homemade video of her having sex with 4 men while she was intoxicated."

The documents show in an interview conducted by internal affairs, Hawkins admitted to the allegations. She also admitted to buying alcohol while on duty and drinking vodka inside a MPD facility with others while they were on duty.

Interim Chief Newsham was asked on the air on WAMU-FM radio Friday about FOX 5's report about Hawkins.

"She is a pretty remarkable person," said Newsham. "She has overcome quite a bit in her life to get to the point where she is, particularly, in a law enforcement organization. She has not been suspended. There has been an allegation of misconduct. The allegation is going through the disciplinary process.

"One of the things I will say about this particular person is that she is human, as are all of my police officers. My police officers are human and they do make mistakes."

Sgt. Hawkins, a 16-year veteran who is the head of the Metropolitan Police Department's Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender Liaison unit, has been chronicled by several news publications and media outlets locally and nationally for the last couple of years since she came out as a transgender woman.

"The one other thing I will say about this particular incident, because we talk about bias all the time, we talk about bias in policing-implicit bias, I'm hopeful - I have almost 400 sergeants on the Metropolitan Police Department - that this one isn't getting the attention it is because of somebody's bias out there, because of this particular person," Newsham said.

The interim police chief said Hawkins has not been suspended, but FOX 5's Marina Marraco said multiple sources have told her that Hawkins is facing a suspension, but is eligible to appeal.

"What discipline is all about is making sure that bad behavior doesn't occur again, so I'll have to evaluate the circumstances, see if there is anything that is mitigating in there and try and issue a discipline to prevent it from occurring again - whatever occurred," said Newsham.