By Bailey Williams
WASHINGTON—D.C. police still are using “jump-out tactics” – officers in unmarked cars intimidating people without justification – against black residents, several witnesses told a hearing Tuesday.
Witnesses said the Washington police force needs to better address the relations between the department and communities of color, especially following the shooting of 18-year-old unarmed African-American Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo.
The police force needs to accurately collect data on its interactions with different communities so people feel safe from scrutiny based on race or ethnicity, said Seema Sadanandan, policy and advocacy director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Bridzette Lane, whose son, Ralphael Briscoe, was shot and killed by police in 2011, called for an ending to jump-out tactics.
Some have said the allegations are baseless, but that argument is offensive to African Americans around the nation, especially after the #BlackLivesMatter movement, said Eugene Puryear, D.C. resident and representative of DCFerguson.
Kymone Freeman, another representative from DCFerguson, said a citizen review board is needed to govern the police force. The board should have the power to fire officers found guilty of misconduct, he said. Further, any officer who kills a person later deemed innocent should be fired immediately, he said.
DCFerguson is a movement in the district aiming to root out police wrongdoing such as the alleged jump-out tactics targeted toward minority communities
Throughout the hearing, more than 10 protesters held blue small posters saying “Stop Jump-Outs DCFerguson.org.” The silent protest had been planned and reported in various media reports prior to Tuesday’s event.