This one in DC three weeks ago. The officer fired from inside a patrol car into moving traffic in a direct violation of DC Police rules, There was no threat to the officers, Sterling was unarmed.
It has been three weeks since a D.C. police officer shot and killed Terrence Sterling. Despite the release of the police body camera footage and the officer’s name, there are still questions about what is going on behind the scenes of the investigation, especially since his death was ruled a homicide. Now, the Black Lives Matter movement is questioning the D.C. Police Union’s chairman and the impact his past will have on future proceedings.
Representatives for Black Lives Matter DC said a closed door meeting was held on Tuesday after the D.C. Police Union reached out to them. The meeting lasted about an hour and a half, but the group said they came out of the meeting with even more questions.
“I wanted him to know that this was bigger than just this case,” said April Goggans of Black Lives Matter DC. “That this case was indicative of all things that we’ve been saying – the way that it’s being handled.”
Black Lives Matter DC continues to question transparency in the Sterling case. Following the closed door meeting, the group’s words towards D.C. Police Union chairman Matthew Mahl are personal.
Black Lives Matter DC said in a news release that “Sergeant Mahl is no stranger to criminal behavior on the job,” citing a use of force incident back in 2015.
Documents, including the use of force report, obtained by FOX 5 confirmed, “Sergeant Mahl struck a handcuffed prisoner in the face after he was kicked in the groin by the prisoner.” Two separate review boards found Mahl’s use of force was unjustified and recommended a suspension that could have meant his termination from the force.
But sources confirmed to FOX 5 his suspension was quietly overturned by D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier just days after Mahl became police union chairman. Sources said it was an unprecedented move.
“To dismiss his case of police brutality the same week that he becomes president, I think that merged the solidarity between the [police] department and the [police] union,” said Goggans. “I think his idea of doing that is to build power.”
According to sources, disciplinary action against Mahl includes a police-involved shooting in 2007 and two unpaid suspensions in 2013 and 2015.