Mayor refuses to comment on concerns after man records video, says police racially profiled him
WASHINGTON - Mayor Muriel Bowser has refused to comment on her concerns after a D.C. man recorded police and says they harassed and racially profiled him in his Southwest D.C. neighborhood.
Two FOX5 reporters have spoken to the mayor about the video, who says she has not seen it, but has had it explained to her.
After speaking to FOX 5 reporter Matt Ackland, Mayor Bowser says she will review the video by 3 p.m. Wednesday.
A D.C. man, who does not want to be identified, took the video on November 15.
He says he was walking home in Ward 8 along Atlantic Street Southwest and MLK Jr. Avenue Southwest when officers came up alongside him and started asking him out of nowhere if he had any guns.
When the man says no, the officer demands to see the man's waistband, which he shows police before the squad car pulls off.
"I really feel offended because what makes you think that I have a gun on me other than me walking and being black," he said.
FOX 5's Evan Lambert contacted the Mayor's office for her response to the video on Tuesday but they never responded, until we were able to catch up to her outside an event Tuesday evening to ask her about the video and if it shows fair police tactics.
Evan Lambert: "He says this happens all the time in his neighborhood and seemingly young black men according to him are racially profiled. Does that concern you?"
Mayor Muriel Bowser: "Well I can't really comment on what has been presented and I understand it's an anonymous kind of video that you have but we do have a system so anybody who thinks that the police have done something wrong they can file a complaint with our independent Office of Police Complaints or directly at their police district."
Lambert: "Should people be stopped when they're walking on the street and officer just ask them out of nowhere if they have guns without any evidence that they are carrying a gun?"
Bowser: "Well, once again I have no idea what happened in that case. I'm not sure you do either, but our..."
Lambert: "I explained the video."
Bowser: "OK. Our police department is committed to constitutional policing, working with communities and keeping them safe."
D.C. police gave a similar statement on Monday night. They would not say if the stop was in accordance with police, if they had a valid reason to make the stop or if the officers involved wrote a report.
"MPD is committed to removing illegal firearms from our community. If anyone believes that they were treated inappropriately by an MPD Officer, we urge them to file a complaint with MPD or the Office of Police Complaints so the matter can be fully investigated."
Documents concerning D.C. police internal investigations or complaints made with the Office of Police Complaints are not revealed to the public.
Councilmember Trayon White told FOX 5 he has seen the video of the stop and has spoken to D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham about his concerns relating to the video.