August 30, 2017 at 10:50 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
D.C. cops accused of joking about ‘gay’ burglary victim
police discrimination, sex police, Sisson, gay news, Washington Blade

D.C. police are investigating an incident in which two officers who were investigating the burglary of a house were captured on video from home security cameras joking that the resident might be gay.

D.C. police are investigating an Aug. 8 incident in which two officers who were investigating the burglary of a house in Southeast Washington were captured on video from home security cameras joking that the resident might be gay because of name brand clothing found at the scene.

NBC4 News reported that the owner of the burglarized home, Clarence Williams, showed the TV news station his video security footage. The video footage, which included an audio recording, shows one of two officers who entered his house while he was out of town saying, “Armani, Dolce and Gabbana – he’s probably gay.”

According to NBC4 News, a few minutes after the officer made reference to Williams’ possible sexual orientation another officer started dancing, which Williams considered disrespectful in light of the home break-in that had just occurred.

A police spokesperson said Williams filed a complaint against the officers after he returned home, discovered his house had been ransacked, and viewed the video recordings.

“We are aware of the complaint that was filed against two Seventh District officers for their actions on the scene of a residential burglary in the 400 block of Woodcrest Drive, Southeast earlier this month,” police spokesperson Aquita Brown said in a statement.

“The officers were placed on non-contact status for misconduct following the initial complaint, however, our internal investigation remains ongoing at this time,” the statement says.

“Their behavior is not representative of the inclusive environment we work tirelessly to uphold on a daily basis for residents and visitors of D.C.,” Brown’s statement continues. “We remain committed to providing positive interactions with all and hold the trust of the community in high regards.”

Williams told NBC4 News the Aug. 8 burglary was the second time someone had robbed his home in less than a month.

The surveillance video played on the air by NBC4 shows an unidentified male suspect breaking open the rear door of Williams’ house by throwing a rock though a glass section of the door.

“Once inside, the suspect(s) ransacked the entire house,” a police report of the burglary says. Williams told the TV news station a computer, clothes and shoes were taken from the house.

Williams didn’t respond to a request by the Washington Blade for comment.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

1 Comment
  • This a a good and important DC police news story. Kudos to the Blade and NBC4 News for bringing it to light.

    A new decade of institutional homophobia and transphobia at MPD can not be tolerated. When MPD officers ignore and/or denigrate crimes against LGBT people– well, that’s a disturbing warning sign of institutional anti-LGBT bias.

    Mayor Bowser, Chief Newsham and members of Council ought to be on guard against MPD foot-dragging in pursuing crimes reported by DC’s LGBT residents, businesses and visitors.

    Whether Aquita Brown’s statement is true or not really depends upon whether MPD is seriously pursuing crimes against LGBT complainants with due diligence.

    In this instance, two robberies in less than a month– targeting a gay man– may very well be a DC hate crime, as well.

    What is MPD doing to promptly investigate and close those burglary cases in 7D with prosecution of the perpetrator(s)?

    For that matter, what is MPD doing to stop trespassers, stalkers and other criminal conduct targeting DC’s LGBT residents?

    Institutional bias may be a problem in other MPD police districts, too.

    MPD officers at all ranks, and in all 7 DC police districts, need to be reminded that the city’s hate crimes law now applies to ANY criminal act…

    BLADE
    (August, 2015)
    \The D.C. Court of Appeals on Aug. 6 issued a ruling establishing that the city’s Bias-Related Crime Act of 1990 applies to any criminal act, including hate-related threats, even though the statute doesn’t explicitly mention threats in its definition of a hate crime.//

    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/08/10/appeals-court-upholds-clause-in-d-c-hate-crimes-law/

    —————–
    \“Their behavior is not representative of the inclusive environment we work tirelessly to uphold on a daily basis for residents and visitors of D.C.,” Brown’s statement continues. “We remain committed to providing positive interactions with all and hold the trust of the community in high regards.”

    Williams told NBC4 News the Aug. 8 burglary was the second time someone had robbed his home in less than a month.//

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