In December 2018, an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department reported allegations of crime reports in Washington D.C. being reclassified as lesser charges to a FOX 5 reporter. The officer alleged that the purpose of the reclassified reports was aimed at skewing the violent crime numbers that represent the make-up of the District of Columbia’s statistics. In short, fewer felonies deliver better grades for the city’s top cops and praises their effectiveness in their respective positions.
What Types Of Crime Reports Are Allegedly Being Reclassified In Washington D.C.?
According to the officer who granted the interview, he has personally been on the scene of crimes where he has been told by a commanding officer to reclassify the crime the took place.
Examples included reclassifying:
- Burglary to unlawful entry
- Robbery using force and violence to simple assault
- Carjacking to stolen auto, or theft one, which becomes a property crime instead of a violent crime
- Assault with a dangerous weapon to an injured person to the hospital report
The officer went on to say, “There’s no need to get discipline over that so we just go ahead and re-classify.”
In fact, in a private Facebook forum made up of D.C. police officers, one joked that when the D.C. Council Chairman’s girlfriend was carjacked in Southeast D.C., the charge would have been “watered down” had it happen a citizen without her connections.
Why Is Crime Reclassification An Issue For The Defense Attorneys at Lotze Mosley, LLP?
As prominent Washington D.C. and Maryland defense attorneys, we recognize the dangers associated with any misclassification of crime or the charges that stem from their happenings, because the unlawful and false charges pendulum can swing both ways.
Defendants can become victims of misclassified police charges that can be harder to expel before a court, simply because one or more person in the position of authority corroborates the other’s report.
It is our attorneys’ jobs to protect our clients from prosecution, and when charges are being misclassified — in any direction — the potential for the abuse of power by the police and prosecutors increases significantly. Manipulating crime statistics is a slippery slope, and can lead to false allegations that jeopardize not only the livelihoods of those who live in our communities, but endanger their very freedom.
Defense Attorneys And Their Commitments To Clients
At Lotze Mosley, LLP, our criminal defense attorneys work tirelessly to provide the best outcome available for our clients, and that means something different for each case, including seeking reduced charges, evidence suppression, not-guilty verdicts, and dismissals.
Our track record allows our representation to speak for itself in both D.C. and the State of Maryland courtrooms because we put in the work to ensure our clients’ rights are protected at all times. When a single component of their arrest report is falsified, our clients run the risk of countering falsified information, which is unacceptable in any capacity.
Simply put, when officers are working together to misclassify charges to lessen our city’s violent crime numbers, what is to stop them from expanding charges with each other’s approval to increase their personal enforcement goals?
If you need a defense attorney, whether you are facing felony or misdemeanor charges, contact the experienced Washington D.C. and Maryland criminal defense attorneys at Lotze Mosley, LLP, today at (202) 759-5967 to learn how we can protect your rights during an initial consultation.