by Jack Pointer
March 24, 2017
reprinted from WTOP
WASHINGTON — The organization that helped sue D.C. police over then-Assistant Chief Peter Newsham’s handling of anti-globalism protests in 2002 now alleges that the department is withholding information on its handling of January’s inaugural protests.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday in D.C. Superior Court, the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund contends that such information “is being improperly and illegally withheld at the very moment when its release would inform the public and the D.C. Council in their evaluation of Peter Newsham’s nomination to be chief of police.”
The nonprofit organization cites the First Amendment Rights and Police Standards Act (FARPSA), which the council enacted 12 years ago to ensure record-keeping and accountability “after lengthy investigation and hearings into significant police misconduct,” including by Newsham. =
Last month, Mayor Muriel Bowser picked the interim chief to fill the role permanently.
As a result of Newsham’s handling of the 2002 World Bank protests in Pershing Park, the District ended up settling with nearly 400 protesters and bystanders — who sued over the mass arrests — for over $8 million.
In that incident, the crowd had not been warned to disperse before the roundup. Some were held for more than 24 hours before being released, and some were hogtied.