Former Metro police officer convicted in beating of rider

A former officer with the Metro Transit Police was found guilty Wednesday of a civil rights violation in an incident where he beat an unarmed rider with a metal baton in 2018.

Andra Vance, 48, was convicted of one count of deprivation of rights, federal prosecutors said in a statement. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he’s sentenced March 10.

Prosecutors said the victim tried to enter the Anacostia Metro Station with an invalid SmarTrip card Feb. 16, 2018, and complained to Vance about it. Vance responded by hitting the victim in the head, the prosecutors said, even after the victim began running away from the station.

When the victim fell, prosecutors said, Vance climbed on top of person and pressed his baton to the rider’s neck.

“At least one fellow officer who witnessed the assault testified that [the person] was not a threat to Vance or anyone else at the Anacostia Metro station,” the prosecutors said.

“A crime like this betrays that duty and the badge with which the defendant was entrusted,” Matthew M. Graves, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, said in the statement. “When officers violate the civil rights of District citizens through unreasonable and unjustified violence, we will hold them accountable.”

Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Anzallo added, “Our commitment to transparency is key in our efforts to support and build trust with the communities we serve. We value our partner agencies and appreciate the opportunity to hold this former officer accountable for his actions.”

Vance was acquitted of a second civil rights charge. He was suspended within hours of the incident, prosecutors said.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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