The Metro Transit Police said they have opened up an investigation after an officer used a stun gun on an unarmed man who was allegedly interfering with a police investigation at the U Street Metro station in Northwest, D.C. Saturday evening.
The Metro police received a call shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday for reports of juveniles who were allegedly threatening people with sticks on the Metro platform, according to a police statement.
The teens were detained, but officers were unable to locate any victims. The juveniles were identified and released to their parents and guardians. Two of the detained tried to flee the scene, according to police.
A man who was not involved in the initial incident started to interfere with the police investigation and “exhibited behavior consistent with preparing to fight the officer,” according to an officer’s report.
Footage of the incident posted to social media by Black Lives Matter DC shows a man speaking to officers from the opposite side of a Metro bench. One of the detained juveniles was sitting down on the opposite side as two officers faced him. Then, an officer approaches the man, trying to keep the man further away from the officers.
.@BrianneKNadeau this is your ward a Investigation need to be open on @MetroTransitPD They wrongfully accused & handcuff Black children again & tased a Black man who was de-escalating the situation and keeping the children safe. @councilofdc enough is enough. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/3aTC1DQg9H
— BlackLivesMatter DC (@DMVBlackLives) June 23, 2019
Police said the man disregarded warnings to move back, and the officer deployed his TASER weapon and took the man into custody. Neither the man or the officer reported any injuries during the incident.
Che’mere Jones captured the video on her cellphone, and can be heard pleading with officers to “chill” and take it easy.
“I was scared, I was ashamed and I was frustrated,” Jones said. “There were seven officers around him and more coming down the escalator.”
Jones said the police statement that the man appeared to be “preparing to fight” does not make much sense.
The man “had one hand on the shoulder of a black boy who was handcuffed and the other hand saying ‘Please stop,'” said Jones. “This isn’t just an officer making a mistake. It’s not a mistake — it’s a culture.”
Jones claimed that the police put everyone on the Metro platform in danger.
“Hold your brothers in blue accountable,” Jones said, in a statement directed at the police. “Not once did you offer any sense of security to anybody on that platform.”
“Based on concerns raised on social media regarding the officer’s handling of the interaction, as well as the appropriateness of the use of force, the Metro Transit Police Department has initiated an investigation into the matter,” Metro police said in a Sunday statement.
MTPD has opened an internal investigation into an arrest at U Street Station yesterday evening that involved an officer using force. We take use-of-force matters seriously, and we are committed to fostering the public’s trust in us. Below is our full statement. #wmata pic.twitter.com/O3bgtcpmhw
— Metro Transit Police (@MetroTransitPD) June 23, 2019
More information will be released as the investigation continues.