D.C. police chief takes questions on cop accusations

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier speaks with a resident after a community meeting Thursday night at Faith Tabernacle of Prayer Church in Southeast. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

WASHINGTON – With two police officers from the same district recently accused of committing separate crimes, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier talked about it with residents Thursday night at a community meeting in Southeast.

One officer, Linwood Barnhill, is accused of running a prostitution ring out of his apartment.

The other, Marc Washington, was accused of child pornography, but died after being pulled from the Washington Channel. It looks like he took his own life.

Both worked in the Metropolitan Police Department’s 7th District.

“I don’t know right now that there’s any cause for alarm, that there’s widespread corruption (or) misconduct going on at the 7th District. You’ve got a very strong commander up at 7D. We’ve interviewed a lot of people…those interviews are still going on,” Lanier told a packed crowd at the Faith Tabernacle of Prayer Church.

During a question and answer period, several people spoke up and said they had recently had a bad experience with a police officer.

Lanier urged anyone who has a problem with an officer in the city to let the department know.

“We don’t want any more officers like that out there either,” she said.

In response to a question, Lanier said officers get continuing training about about ethics and proper on and off-duty behavior.

Lanier said she can fire a police officer for off-duty behavior even if it’s not criminal.

“Our biggest problem with misconduct that costs a police officer their job? Alcohol,” the Chief said.

City Council’s Judiciary and Public Safety Committee holds a public hearing about police conduct at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, and the public is invited to testify. Click here to sign-up.

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