This altercation with the Metro Transit Police occurred on July 1, 2011 at about 9:30pm at the Verizon center/Chinatown Metro on the entrance across the street from Rosa Mexicana on 7th & F st in Washington, DC.
The incident began when one of my friend’s metrocard was not working due to it being demagnetized, and I was trying to explain to the metro attendant, along with one of the Metro transit police.
After they chose to ignore my explanation I made the comment
“This is why nobody respects DC police, look at what they are doing to these guys” because at this time some of the officers had three gentleman detained and searching them.
At this point my friend was coming back from getting her metro card, and my friend and I were walking towards the escalators to the metro. After this, before I knew it I had a metro transit officer walking briskly towards me. He grabs me, and eventually pins me to the ground. He gets me up and handcuffs me. For the next 45 minutes I am interrogated by four officers, including an undercover female sergeant who was held back by other officers from me while I was handcuffed. The officer that assaulted me ran my information and then let my friends and me go home. He also stated, that the female sergeant wanted to arrest me, but he told her that “I had a child so I had to go home,” which is not true.
The next day I woke up to bruises and pain on my torso, and all of my limbs.
The Saturday after the incident I contact WMATA, to give me information on the police officers, and told the woman that answered the phone what happened. The female that was speaking to me on the phone stated that police officers have different guidelines than the rest of the population, and that if they feel they that someone is a threat to the general public than they are allowed to put their hands on someone.
I left a message on that Saturday July 2nd with the WMATA internal affairs.
That Tuesday, July 5 I went to the WMATA headquarters, and tried to see internal affairs and they were unavailable. The receptionist stated that I should file a complaint online, which I did that same day.
A Lieutenant finally called me back on July 19th, I told him the story of the incident and he asked me at the end of the conversation, “What was my complaint? Because the officer could have arrested me, but he instead let me go.” I asked him for the names of the officers and he said he did not have that information yet. He stated that I should file a complaint online, which I told him I already did. He than calls me back and says he is unable to find it. So he asked me to rewrite it, and send it in or he could come pick it up. I sent him via mail the complaint and pictures of my bruises on July 19th.
I still have not heard back, and have left messages. I got in touch with the ACLU and sent them all of my information about the incident. They interviewed my witnesses and my case, but unfortunately could not help me.
I have seen these officers again as they do work on Friday evenings in Chinatown.
Submitted by Ana on 8/23/2011
Location: Chinatown Metro
Time of harassment: 9:30pm