DC’s police chief: Noise arrest could have been handled differently

WASHINGTON — When officers arrested a Chevy Chase woman for a noise violation, D.C.’s police chief said it could have been handled differently — and policies are now changing.

It was the evening of May 28, the day before Memorial Day, when neighbors called police for a noise violation after 10 p.m. in Chevy Chase.

C. Nicole Mason had a DJ playing music outside, and when she didn’t turn the music down, she was placed under arrest, police said.

But that’s not how Chief Peter Newsham wants noise violations handled in the future.

The chief reached out to Mason, who filed a grievance with the office of police complaints, explaining her arrest was “inconsistent with his vision of community policing,” said Dustin Sternbeck with the department.

It is normally an offense that earns you a citation, but Sternbeck said officers have arrested 37 people for noise violations this year.

Going forward, the policy for responding to a noise violation will be for a ranking lieutenant or higher to respond when officers see cause for an arrest.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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