WASHINGTON – Today, the ACLU of the District of Columbia filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for data on all stops and/or frisks conducted by Metropolitan Police Department officers since the implementation of the Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results (NEAR) Act.
The NEAR Act, unanimously passed by the DC Council in 2016, provides a comprehensive framework for crime prevention and law enforcement improvement in the District. One provision of the law which was funded by the DC Council in its FY17 budget, requires the Metropolitan Police Department to collect more information regarding all “stops and frisks” conducted in D.C., including the race, gender, and date of birth of each person stopped, as well as whether and for what reason each stop resulted in a search and/or arrest. Prior to the NEAR Act's implementation, the detailed information ACLU-DC is requesting would not have been available.
“We believe that in order to maintain transparency, accountability, and trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve, we must know the details of how our police engage with our citizens,” said Nassim Moshiree, Policy Director of the ACLU of the District of Columbia. “We look forward to working with the DC Council to ensure that law enforcement is complying not only with the reporting requirements of the NEAR Act, but with the Constitution of the United States. We hope the D.C. Council will direct the police to provide this information to it in advance of its upcoming oversight hearings.”
For further comments on the FOIA request and “stop and frisk” practices in Washington, DC, contact the ACLU of the District of Columbia at 202-270-8488 or firstname.lastname@example.org.