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DC Councilmember Calls on AG to Evaluate Potential Bias in Police Threat Assessments

NBC Washington D.C. logo NBC Washington D.C. 1 day ago Pat Collins
As seen on NBC Washington on Feb. 23, 2021. © Provided by NBC Washington D.C.

As seen on NBC Washington on Feb. 23, 2021.

D.C. Councilmember Robert White is introducing legislation calling for the attorney general to evaluate potential bias in threat assessments made by police in the District, and make recommendations for addressing it. 

He pointed to the disparity in the police response for Black Lives Matter protests versus the insurrection at the Capitol.

“The Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, law enforcement knew ahead of time what the threat was, what people were saying they were coming to the District to do, and yet we had no real law enforcement preparation,” White said. “Compare that to the Black Lives Matter protest at Lafayette Square, where folks had not so much as broken curfew but you had… several federal and local law enforcement agencies.”

Moved by what he saw, White introduced the bill. 

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine's office said he is “reviewing the proposed legislation but has not taken a public position on it yet.”

"MPD has a history of embracing independent review and analysis of agency practices to implement positive change… we remain committed to providing equitable police services to our residents and visitors," D.C. Police said.

Residents are likely to hear more about this during public hearings on the bill in the days to come.

“There is bias in how we assess threats, so we are very unprepared for the rising tide of domestic terrorism in this county and in the District of Columbia,” White said. 

Editor's Note (Feb. 24, 2021): This story has been updated to reflect that Racine's office, not Racine himself, commented the Attorney General hasn't yet taken a position yet.


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