WASHINGTON, DC — Today Councilmember Janeese Lewis George, joined by seven other Councilmembers, introduced the White Supremacy in Policing Prevention Act of 2021, a bill to investigate any ties between members of MPD and hate groups that could prevent fair enforcement of the law, and to recommend preventive and detection safeguards for the Department.
“We cannot confront the bias and discrimination in policing without rooting out explicit racism. Investigating links to hate groups within MPD and identifying reforms to prevent and detect these ties is critical to protect our communities and move us closer to equal justice under the law,” said Councilmember Lewis George.
In the wake of rising extremism, police departments nationwide are grappling with the threat of white supremacist and hate group ties among law enforcement. When these ties affect officer performance, they endanger other officers and the public.
The White Supremacy in Policing Act of 2021 directs the Office of the DC Auditor to oversee an assessment of any ties between white supremacist or other hate groups and members of MPD that could impact officers’ ability to enforce the law properly and fairly – and to propose reforms to better detect and prevent such ties among officers in the future. The bill includes protections for MPD officer and staff’s freedom of speech and privacy rights.
This legislation would help ensure that our laws are enforced fairly, improve officer and community safety, and increase public trust in the Department without setting aside additional funding for policing.
Earlier this month Acting MPD Chief Contee said that reviewing all MPD officers and staff for potential ties to extremist groups is a necessary step to root out any potential extremism from MPD. This bill outlines a strong, independent path for doing so through the Office of the DC Auditor.
“Thank you to Councilmembers Charles Allen, Brianne Nadeau, Christina Henderson, Kenyan McDuffie, Brooke Pinto, Trayon White, and Anita Bonds for co-introducing this legislation. I’m continuously grateful for the movements and organizations working to improve police accountability and reimagine public safety in the District,” added Councilmember Lewis George.