Metro leaders, for now, decline to take up hot-button issue of rider suspensions

A controversial plan to ban certain people from the D.C. Metro system is now on pause.

Under the proposal, those who have been accused by police of sex or weapons offenses on Metro property would be temporarily suspended from using the system.

The plan had gotten the backing of the safety committee of Metro’s board of directors earlier this month, and it was set to be taken up by the full board Thursday.

But the board declined to vote on the issue, instead deferring it until September, according to board chair Paul Smedberg.

A Metro spokesman later said the board had requested additional information from staff and from its jurisdictions.

Numerous groups, including the D.C., Maryland and Virginia affiliates of the ACLU, along with Black Lives Matter DC, had urged board members to vote down the proposal, saying it raised due process concerns and would harm communities they say are already over-policed.

The suspension proposal comes as Metro says it has seen an increase in sex offenses on the system, including people exposing themselves.

Under the proposal, a person would be suspended for 14 days for a first offense, 30 days for a second offense and one year for a third offense in a 12-month period.

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, PA, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP sports.

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