Code of the District of Columbia

§ 5–1104. Police Complaints Board.

(a) There is established a Police Complaints Board (“Board”). The Board shall be composed of 5 members, one of whom shall be a member of the MPD, and 4 of whom shall have no current affiliation with any law enforcement agency. All members of the Board shall be residents of the District of Columbia. The members of the Board shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the Council. The Mayor shall submit a nomination to the Council for a 90-day period of review, excluding days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve the nomination by resolution within this 90-day review period, the nomination shall be deemed disapproved.

(b) Board members first appointed after March 26, 1999 shall serve as follows: 2 shall serve for a 3-year term; 2 shall serve for a 2-year term; and one shall serve for a 1-year term. Thereafter, Board members shall serve for a term of 3 years or until a successor has been appointed. All board members shall serve without compensation. A Board member may be reappointed. The Mayor shall designate the chairperson of the Board, and may remove a member of the Board from office for cause. A person appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board occurring prior to the expiration of a term shall serve for the remainder of the term or until a successor has been appointed.

(c) A quorum for the transaction of business shall be 3 members of the Board.

(d) The Board shall conduct periodic reviews of the citizen complaint review process, and shall make recommendations, where appropriate, to the Mayor, the Council, the Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department ("Police Chief"), and the Director of the District of Columbia Housing Authority ("DCHA Director") concerning the status and the improvement of the citizen complaint process. The Board shall, where appropriate, make recommendations to the above-named entities concerning those elements of management of the MPD affecting the incidence of police misconduct, such as the recruitment, training, evaluation, discipline, and supervision of police officers.

(d-1) The Board may, where appropriate, monitor and evaluate MPD’s handling of, and response to, First Amendment assemblies, as defined in § 5-333.02, held on District streets, sidewalks, or other public ways, or in District parks.

(d-2)(1) The Board shall review, with respect to the MPD:

(A) The number, type, and disposition of citizen complaints received, investigated, sustained, or otherwise resolved;

(B) The race, national origin, gender, and age of the complainant and the subject officer or officers;

(C) The proposed discipline and the actual discipline imposed on a police officer as a result of any sustained citizen complaint;

(D) All use of force incidents, serious use of force incidents, and serious physical injury incidents as defined in MPD General Order 907.07; and

(E) Any in-custody death.

(2) The Executive Director, acting on behalf of the Board, shall have timely and complete access to information and supporting documentation specifically related to the Board’s duties under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3) The Executive Director shall keep confidential the identity of all persons named in any documents transferred from the MPD to the Office pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(4) The disclosure or transfer of any public record, document, or information from the MPD to the Office pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not constitute a waiver of any privilege or exemption that otherwise could be asserted by the MPD to prevent disclosure to the general public or in a judicial or administrative proceeding.

(5) A Freedom of Information Act request for public records collected pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection may only be submitted to the MPD.

(6) Beginning on December 31, 2017, and by December 31 of each year thereafter, the Board shall deliver a report to the Mayor and the Council that analyzes the information evaluated by the Board under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(d-3)(1) The Board or any entity selected by the Board shall cause to be conducted an independent review of the activities of MPD's Narcotics and Specialized Investigations Division, and any of its subdivisions ("NSID"), from August 1, 2019, through January 31, 2020.

(2) By September 30, 2021, the Board shall submit to the Mayor and Council a report summarizing the findings of the review, including:

(A) A description of the NSID's operations, management, and command structure;

(B) An evaluation of stops and searches conducted by NSID officers, including an analysis of the records identified in § 5-113.01(a)(4B);

(C) An evaluation of citizen complaints received by the Office regarding the alleged conduct of NSID officers;

(D) An evaluation of the adequacy of discipline imposed by the Metropolitan Police Department on NSID officers as a result of a sustained allegation of misconduct pursuant to § 5-1112; and

(E) Recommendations, informed by best practices for similar entities in other jurisdictions, for improving the NSID's policing strategies, providing effective oversight over NSID officers, and improving community-police relations.

(3)(A) The Executive Director, acting on behalf of the Board, shall have access to all books, accounts, records, reports, findings, and all other papers, things, or property belonging to or in use by any department, agency, or other instrumentality of the District government that are necessary to facilitate the review.

(B) If the Executive Director is denied access to any books, accounts, records, reports, findings, or any other papers, things, or property, the reason for the denial shall:

(i) Be submitted in writing to the Executive Director no later than 7 days after the date of the Executive Director's request;

(ii) State the specific reasons for the denial, including citations to any law or regulation relied upon as authority for the denial; and

(iii) State the names of the public officials or employees responsible for the decision to deny the request.

(4) Employees of the MPD shall cooperate fully with the Office or any entity selected by the Office to conduct the review. Upon notification by the Executive Director that an MPD employee has not cooperated as requested, the Police Chief shall cause appropriate disciplinary action to be instituted against the employee and shall notify the Executive Director of the outcome of such action.

(5) The Executive Director shall keep confidential the identity of all persons named in any documents transferred from the MPD to the Office pursuant to this subsection.

(6) The disclosure or transfer of any books, accounts, records, reports, findings or any papers, things, or property from the MPD to the Office pursuant to this subsection shall not constitute a waiver of any privilege or exemption that otherwise could be asserted by the MPD to prevent disclosure to the general public or in a judicial or administrative proceeding.

(7) A Freedom of Information Act request for any books, accounts, records, reports, findings or any papers, things, or property obtained by the Office from the MPD pursuant to this subsection may only be submitted to the MPD.

(e) Within 60 days of the end of each fiscal year, the Board shall transmit to the entities named in subsection (d) of this section an annual report of the operations of the Board and the Office of Police Complaints.

(f) The Board is authorized to apply for and receive grants to fund its program activities in accordance with laws and regulations relating to grant management.


(Mar. 26, 1999, D.C. Law 12-208, § 5, 45 DCR 8107; June 12, 1999, D.C. Law 12-285, § 4(e), 46 DCR 1355; Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-194, § 902(b), 51 DCR 9406; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-352, § 141, 52 DCR 2296; June 30, 2016, D.C. Law 21-125, § 208(a), 63 DCR 4659; Sept. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 23-16, § 3082, 66 DCR 8621; June 8, 2020, D.C. Act 23-328, § 704, 67 DCR 7598.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-914.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-523.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-194, in the section heading and subsec. (a), substituted “Police Complaints Board” for “Citizen Complaint Review Board”; in subsec. (d), deleted “the Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority,” following “the Council”; and in subsec. (e), substituted “Police Complaints” for “Citizen Complaint Review”.

D.C. Law 15-352 added subsec. (d-1).

Cross References

Mayoral nomination of agency heads, Police Complaints Board, see § 1-523.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3082 of Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-112, Sept. 4, 2019, 66 DCR 11964).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3082 of Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-91, July 22, 2019, 66 DCR 8497).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 4(e) of the Confirmation Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-25, March 15, 1999, 46 DCR 2971).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 4(e) of the Confirmation Act Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-92, June 4, 1999, 46 DCR 5330).