Oct 7, 2022 - News

D.C. forced to rehire 36 fired cops and give $14M in back pay

An MPD motorcycle

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Thirty-six D.C. police officers who were fired over misconduct allegations got their jobs back and $14 million in back pay from the Metropolitan Police Department, a new report from the D.C. Auditor found.

Why it matters: MPD was forced to rehire the cops after they appealed their termination, showing how difficult and costly it is to fire bad cops.

Details: One of the officers was fired after he was found guilty of exposing his genitals to a woman in a parking lot in 2010. An outside arbitrator overturned his termination in 2014. He was reinstated in late 2016 and received $362,000 in back pay.

  • Three of the cops had been terminated for misconduct that the auditor classified as a “threat to safety.”

The big picture: Advocates for better policing aren’t happy with this news. Neither is MPD, which said in a statement that it is “concerned about the reinstatement of any member terminated for misconduct and the impact on public safety and trust.”

  • The department supports the auditor’s recommendations, which include legislation before the D.C. Council to eliminate arbitration from the appeal process.

What they’re saying: “We’re recommending legislation to put elected officials in the driver’s seat on what is and is not behavior that merits termination from MPD,” D.C. Auditor Kathy Patterson said in a statement.

What’s next: The D.C. Council has a bill that would establish a deputy auditor for public safety and give the Office of Police Complaints more authority. It would also create a public database of all disciplinary records of MPD officers.


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