Twenty-three Washington, D.C., police officers have been arrested this year on charges ranging from sexual assault to killing a mother and her 1-year-old daughter, a rate of alleged abuse by city cops that one expert places on par with the worst-run city police departments, reports the Washington Examiner. In the last week, an off-duty police officer with a history of alcohol problems allegedly was drunk and jumped on the hood of a vehicle and shot at transgendered people inside, striking at least one.
The department has 3,818 officers. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the acts of some of them were “despicable and dishonor the uniform that we wear. She said the public should be encouraged that some the misconduct was discovered internally. Criminologist Samuel Walker of the University of Nebraska, who specializes in police accountability, said he was astonished by the sheer numbers of D.C. police officers arrested and the level of criminality. “This might even exceed New Orleans, probably everybody’s candidate for worst police department in the country,” he said. The arrests raise questions about the recruiting, the screening, and the disciplinary process, he added.