WASHINGTON - There was heightened tension and outrage against police as officers made several arrests in Northeast D.C. Monday night. This comes after a viral video surfaced over the weekend showing controversial searches in which an ANC commissioner believes was a violation of constitutional rights.
A large crowd clashed with D.C. officers on Sheriff Road at around 9:15 p.m. Monday, which is the same street where officers with D.C. police's Gun Recovery Unit searched several men standing outside of a barber shop in the neighborhood last week.
At least three people were arrested Monday night, police said.
The video at the center of the controversy recorded last Wednesday showed officers searching a man who police said had a BB gun in his possession. After questioning the man, the officers allowed him to leave.
However, this led the officers to search other men standing outside of the barber shop for illegal weapons - with the officers asking to the see their waistbands.
Members of the community are questioning whether this police search was legal or if it was an improper stop-and-frisk. Some also believe that the man in possession of the BB gun was an undercover officer, which is a claim that D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham denied on Monday.
ANC commissioner Anthony Lorenzo Green told FOX 5 that police told him they were in the area Monday night to do a checkup on the barber shop, but the situation escalated where arrests were made and some people were injured and taken to the hospital. Some community members said a woman holding a baby was pepper sprayed.
"The young men and women in my community are not afraid anymore. They are not afraid. They will fight back. Things will get hot," said Green. "The man need to get off our [expletive] and stop that talk about we need to be vigilant in our community. Vigilant against your own black and brown people? I don't understand that."
Chief Newsham and Mayor Muriel Bowser defended the officers' actions during the controversial search last week. Newsham said they will conduct an investigation and review body-worn camera video to see if the searches and pat-downs were not legal.