Code of the District of Columbia

§ 5–331.12. Prompt release of persons arrested in connection with a First Amendment assembly.

(a)(1) The MPD shall promptly process any person arrested in connection with a First Amendment assembly to determine whether the person is eligible for immediate release pursuant to a lawful release option, and shall promptly release any person so eligible who opts for release.

(2) The MPD shall promptly release any person arrested in connection with a First Amendment assembly who, it is subsequently determined, should not be charged with any offense, or as to whom arrest documentation has not been prepared and preserved.

(b)(1) The MPD shall require that an officer holding a supervisory rank document and explain any instance in which a person arrested in connection with a First Amendment assembly who opts for release pursuant to any lawful release option or who is not charged with any offense is not released within 4 hours from the time of arrest.

(2) The MPD shall provide to any person not released within a reasonable time of arrest food appropriate to the person’s health.

(c) The Chief of Police shall issue an annual public report that:

(1) Identifies the number of persons in the preceding year who were arrested in connection with a First Amendment assembly and opted for release pursuant to any lawful release option or were not charged with any offense and were not released from custody within 4 hours after the time of arrest;

(2) Discusses the reasons for the delay in processing such persons for release; and

(3) Describes any steps taken or to be taken to ensure that all such persons are released within 4 hours from the time of arrest.

(d) The MPD shall ensure that it possesses an automated information processing system that enables it to promptly process for release or presentation to the court all persons arrested in connection with a First Amendment assembly, and shall ensure that such system is fully operational (with respect to its hardware, software, and staffing) prior to a First Amendment assembly that has a potential for a substantial number of arrests.


(Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-352, § 112, 52 DCR 2296.)