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DC mayor helps prison prices for armed suspect with ‘ghost gun’ punched by police in viral video

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser mentioned Tuesday that she believes the suspect seen in a viral bystander video in possession of a “ghost gun” on his waistband as police repeatedly punched him within the face ought to have been criminally charged. 

Three officers with the D.C. Metropolitan Police Division are dealing with prison and administrative investigations after a video confirmed one among them repeatedly punching a 23-year-old suspect within the face, whereas the opposite two officers held him towards a fence whereas putting him beneath arrest. 

The suspect was discovered to have a completely loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol in his waistband, which the D.C. Police Union affirmed was a “ghost gun,” that means the firearm wasn’t marked with an individualized serial quantity, making it tougher to trace by regulation enforcement.  

The U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace for the District of Columbia remains to be reviewing whether or not the three suspended officers will face prison prices – although prices towards the 23-year-old have been dropped, Fox 5 DC reported. He was dealing with drug-related, unlawful possession of a firearm and resisting arrest offenses. 

three DC COPS SUSPENDED AFTER 1 CAUGHT ON CAMERA REPEATEDLY PUNCHING SUSPECT DURING ARREST: POLICE CHIEF 

“I do really feel like he ought to have been charged,” Bowser mentioned at a press convention Tuesday. However I additionally know the truth that the prosecutor in all probability mentioned to himself, ‘l take this to the jury, there’s no method it’s going to be prosecuted. So I’d as effectively spend my time on one thing else.’ 

“The entire thing is totally irritating,” the mayor mentioned. “A minimum of we obtained the gun, and we’ve recognized someone who perhaps will make the most of some assist to decide on a special path.” 

Bowser and D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee each have been vocal about guaranteeing gun offenders are held accountable and never launched again onto the streets. The officers within the video have been despatched into that particular neighborhood, which has skilled a current dramatic uptick in violent crime and is understood to have pervasive open air drug dealing, with orders to “get weapons off the road,” the police union mentioned. 

Contee mentioned Tuesday the officers tried to position the person beneath arrest after witnessing a “hand-to-hand drug transaction” and felt the bulge of a firearm throughout a pat down.

“I perceive the frustration folks really feel. At first, we noticed one among our law enforcement officials sworn with a gun and a badge seem to make use of extreme pressure in punching someone,” Bowser mentioned. “Our officers aren’t skilled to do this with the intention to take a gun. I additionally need to be clear that each one of our officers have a accountability to one another and to the neighborhood. So all officers have an obligation to reply.”  

Bystander video shows an officer holding the handgun recovered from a suspect’s waistband. Earlier in the viral clip, two officers are seen restraining the suspect, as a third officer was punching him in the face. 

Bystander video exhibits an officer holding the handgun recovered from a suspect’s waistband. Earlier within the viral clip, two officers are seen restraining the suspect, as a 3rd officer was punching him within the face.  (DC Police Union)

The viral video additionally exhibits the second officers take away the loaded pistol from the suspect’s waistband. 

“Previous to taking possession of the weapon, the gun was unsecured and a hazard to law enforcement officials, the suspects and anybody close by,” DC Police Union Chairman Gregg Pemberton mentioned in a press release. 

“The officers bodily decided there was a weapon in his waistband and that the suspect was making efforts to retrieve it,” the union chief added. “On this case, these officers used a minimal quantity of pressure to subdue a violent suspect in possession of an unlawful firearm.” 

Referencing “open air drug dealing” at that location, Bowser mentioned Tuesday concerning the ongoing drawback that “everyone is aware of it, and everyone needs one thing achieved about it, so our officers will likely be current, will likely be responding, will likely be going after weapons, will defend folks’s constitutional rights.” 

Contee additionally expressed remorse over the officers’ actions seen within the viral video. 

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“I’m embarrassed, disturbed, disheartened, and ashamed of what I’ve seen,” the chief mentioned at his personal press convention Tuesday. “MPD prides itself on treating everybody with respect, even after we are recovering weapons and taking a few of our most violent criminals off of our streets, it is going to be achieved constitutionally and respectfully.”

The incident can also be beneath investigation by MPD Inner Affairs Division and the Workplace of Police Complaints. The officers have been stripped of their police powers and positioned on non-contact standing. None have been recognized. 

Fox Information’ Stephen Sorace contributed to this report. 

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