The Washington, D.C., police department has been largely released from intensive federal oversight of cases in which officers fire their weapons or otherwise use force against people, reports the Washington Post. The U.S. Justice Department oversight began in 2001 after federal officials determined that “to some extent, the [police] department was out of control,” Acting D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles said. It ended April 7, two months early, because police had complied with regulations that led to fewer incidents of officers using force on the job.
Police Chief Cathy Lanier said, “We went from being a department that used force more than any other department in the country to being a department that is a national model.” Last year, eight people were shot and killed by police. This year, there has been one fatal shooting by an officer. That is a significant improvement from the 1990s. Police shot and killed 12 people in 1998. The city is awaiting a decision by the U.S. Attorney on whether two police officers will face criminal charges in the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old boy who allegedly got into a gun battle with police over a stolen minibike.