It’s been more than nine months since a man on a scooter died while being chased by police in D.C., and a council member wants the officers involved in the pursuit to be held accountable.
Ward 4 Council member Janeese Lewis George said Wednesday that what happened to Karon Hylton-Brown in October was a “clear violation of (D.C. police’s) no-chase policy.”
Brown, 20, of D.C. died in a hospital after a motorist struck him while riding a scooter in Brightwood Park. Officers had reportedly pursued him because he was not wearing a helmet, leading his family to accuse city police of precipitating the events that led to his death.
George said that she and the community have been waiting for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia to make a decision to act, even though there are videos on social media that caught what happened.
“The delay is unnecessary, and it’s inexcusable. And because D.C. has a law, saying that police officers cannot be disciplined or terminated while the USAO investigates, there have been no consequences for the officers involved,” George said.
The four D.C. police officers involved in the chase were placed on leave.
George referred to one officer, Terrence Sutton, who she said is still at home collecting paychecks instead of facing discipline for what he did. She asked if it would take this long for the U.S. Attorney’s Office to act if Hylton-Brown had done something that led to police losing their life.
“Do you think that we would still be waiting to press charges nine months later? Absolutely not. U.S. Attorney’s Office, we’re here to tell you to get your act together. We’re here to demand that you stop delaying justice and accountability,” George said.
A D.C. police spokesman confirmed to NBC Washington that Sutton, who was driving the police car during the chase remains on paid administrative leave, but the spokesman did not say the status of the other officers.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office told NBC Washington in a statement that the investigation continues.
“The investigation into Karon Hylton-Brown’s tragic death is ongoing, but as with any pending matter, it would be improper to comment any further at this time. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to thoroughly investigating police-involved deaths.”
George said that she has written to Acting U.S. Attorney for D.C. Channing Phillips three times since he took office in January to ask about the investigation into Hylton-Brown’s death.
“The only answer I have ever received has been that the investigation is still ongoing,” George said.
Following Hylton-Brown’s death, there were several protests in D.C.
“Our community is still mourning. We are trying to move forward, but we cannot do that. U.S. Attorney’s Office, please do your job,” George said.