DC Council member Charles Allen announced that he was working on a new bill together with his fellow colleagues in the Council to bring more transparency, oversight, and accountability to policing in the nation’s capital, focusing on racial justice.
As DC streets witnessed the sixth consecutive night of protests against police violence in response to last week’s brutal killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis, the District’s legislative branch decided to take its own action on the issue.
I'm pulling together a bill w/ my Council colleagues for next Tues to bring more transparency, oversight, & accountability to policing in the District of Columbia. Many shortcomings w/ #RacialJustice go beyond policing, but this is an important place to start. More details soon. pic.twitter.com/8X2URdI9wM
— Charles Allen (@charlesallen) June 3, 2020
There was another curfew declared by Mayor Muriel Bowser on Wednesday from 11 pm.
Even though the tension between demonstrators and the police started to ease, DC politicians are convinced that it is time to make some progress on policing tactics.
The DC Council is expected to discuss the new bill next Tuesday.
In addition to Allen, Councilmember at-large Robert White issued a statement in solidarity with DC protesters, criticizing Bowser’s curfew declaration and harsh police intervention on the protesters. He also vowed to take steps with the Council towards better racial justice and policing reform in the city.
My full statement requesting local action protecting protesters. pic.twitter.com/L2ZlrUV5JG
— Robert C. White, Jr. (@RobertWhite_DC) June 2, 2020
“We need the voices of protestors to prevail. Our law enforcement has the ability to protect the free speech of the protestors while also preventing looting that is unrelated to the protest. We must remember that the buildings did not elect us to protect them, but the people did,” White said.
“I would say to residents, not only do I hear you, but I’m with you and I am you. We will make progress on racial justice and policing reform and right now is our time to do it,” he added.
Over the past six days, DC police arrested dozens of people who participated in the ongoing protests, while a number of buildings were set ablaze by protesters, including St. John’s Episcopal Church in the 1500 blk of H Street, Northwest, and the AFL-CIO building on 16th Street and I Street, Northwest.
During the night curfew on Monday, June 1, multiple helicopters were spotted flying unusually close to the ground in Northwest Washington, while the police were disproportionately intervening in the protests. DC National Guard has launched an investigation into the highly controversial move.