D.C. police is investigating one of its officers for allegedly lying to police and denying that she witnessed a murder, Police Chief Cathy Lanier has confirmed to ABC7. The officer was in a relationship with the murder suspect, according to WTOP.
She has been removed from duty and is on administrative leave, police say.
"If the investigation confirms that that is exactly what happened, then that officer is facing criminal charges," Lanier said on WTOP's "Ask the Chief" program.
Court records indicate a witness who first told police she did not see the shooting, and later recanted, is the D.C. police officer under investigation. She was off duty at the time of the shooting.
Ricardo Mitchell, 32, has been charged with shooting and killing Wyatt Robinson in the 3800 block of Minnesota Avenue NE on August 21.
Charging documents for Mitchell claim the officer, described as Witness 2, "initially stated that (she) was not in a position to observe the offense."
Upon further questioning, she walked back that statement, saying she “was in a position to observe the offense” and "had not been completely forthcoming with information."
Then the witness told detectives she watched as Robinson was hit with a pistol by Mitchell and then shot multiple times.
MPD says the officer is a 12-year veteran attached to the 2nd District.
“She should no longer be a police officer,” if the charges prove true, D.C. resident Maggie Johnson said.
This case is the latest in a series of arrests of police officers. Twenty-three D.C. police officers have been arrested so far this year for crimes ranging from relatively minor offenses to murder.
Detective Richmond Philips is charged with shooting a woman, then leaving her baby in a hot car to die. Sergeant Aisha Hackley pleaded guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from an elderly woman who turned to the police for help. Another veteran officer is jailed for allegedly used his power to force women into sex.
“Definitely troubles me especially if it's rampant and a culture of corruption is evident in the police department,” said Barry Chambers, who lives in D.C.