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New evidence supports whistleblower’s claim of DC Police wrongdoing

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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
December 22, 2022 GMT

WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Sergeant Charlotte Djossou, a 18-year veteran of the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), has uncovered extensive evidence of wrongdoing by MPD in her whistleblower case against the District. She is represented by Lynne Bernabei at Bernabei & Kabat, PLLC, and Joe Caleb at CalebAndonian. Her lawsuit describes the retaliation she suffered from the highest levels of MPD after she reported illegal jump outs that targeted young Black men in Black neighborhoods and the misclassification of serious crimes as lesser crimes to give a false view of MDP’s reduction in crime.

She was the subject of an in-depth article by USA Today, which highlighted her struggles and those of other women officers in the MPD as they tried to do their jobs.

In the course of her lawsuit, Sergeant Djossou has uncovered that MPD drove out other veteran officers after they reported illegal MPD police tactics. One repeatedly reported that officers jumped out on young Black men, without legal basis, and abused them. Her supervisors retaliated against her when she reported this abuse and the racism in her assigned MPD unit. Another officer, Felicia Carson, brought her own lawsuit when MPD terminated her contract because she diligently investigated an MPD officer’s abusive and illegal arrest of a Black man—an incident that Sergeant Djossou reported to then Assistant Chief Contee. (Contee is now the MPD Chief of Police.)


After Sergeant Djossou reported that MPD downgraded thefts to a category not tracked by the crime statistics, MPD discontinued this practice. But MPD has never investigated these reports of illegal jump outs targeting Black neighborhoods, or the downgrading of felonies to misdemeanors to improve crime statistics.

Sworn testimony, including from other MPD officers, corroborates both the illegal nature of jump outs in Black neighborhoods, and the retaliation against individuals who protested these police tactics.

Demonstrating additional racial bias of MPD, former Police Chief Peter Newsham devised the Felon in Possession Initiative with the former U.S. Attorney. The Initiative targeted gun offenders in three predominantly Black districts for prosecution in federal courts on federal crimes, which carried longer sentences. After extensive criticism from Black Assistant U.S. Attorneys and the community, the U.S. Attorney’s Office discontinued the program in 2021.


The parties are in the process of retaining experts to evaluate these longstanding illegal practices of the MPD.


Lynne Bernabei, 202-302-2247,

Kristen Sinisi, 202-745-1942,

Joseph Caleb, 202-953-9849,

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SOURCE Bernabei & Kabat, PLLC