Sgt. Matthew Mahl, who has been serving as acting supervisor of the D.C. police department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, has been stripped of his police powers, including his uniform, badge and gun, while being investigated for an undisclosed allegation, according to sources familiar with the situation.
“Sgt. Mahl is on non-contact status pending the outcome of an administrative matter,” said police spokesperson Gwendolyn Crump. “He is still at the GLLU.”
Crump told the Blade the GLLU is currently “under the management of Capt. Edward Delgado, the official in charge of the Special Liaison Division.”
She said police personnel rules prevent her from disclosing any additional details, including the reason the department suspended Mahl’s police powers.
Dale Sanders, a D.C. area attorney who, among other things, represents D.C. police officers on legal matters, said he has no knowledge of Mahl’s case. But he said the department suspends police powers from officers for many reasons, including complaints by citizens that an officer used excessive force in making an arrest.
“These types of complaints are very frequent,” he said, adding that in most cases, such complaints go to the city’s civilian complaint review board. “It is not permanent. It is subject to investigation.”
However, Sanders said it’s not routine for an officer to have his or her police powers suspended for most allegations made in citizen complaints.
Nykisha Cleveland, a spokesperson for the civilian D.C. Office of Police Complaints, told the Blade on Wednesday that no “sustained complaints” against Mahl have been processed by or are pending before the police complaints office. She said the Office of Police Complaints doesn’t publicly disclose cases where complaints are filed against an officer but are dismissed because “no reasonable cause” is found to sustain them.
LGBT activists who know Mahl, including Hassan Naveed, co-chair of the local group Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV), have praised Mahl’s work at the GLLU, calling him a dedicated and hard-working officer who works well with the community.
Naveed, who meets regularly with GLLU members and other police officials, including Capt. Delgado, said no one at the GLLU or the department informed GLOV of Mahl’s changed status.