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Office of Police Complaints investigates MPD response to inauguration weekend protests

A new report accuses some Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers of abusing their power and potentially violating procedures.

On January 20, rowdy Inauguration Day protesters clashed with police. Among them were eleven staff members of DC’s Office of Police Complaints (OPC).

The members noticed one officer hitting protesters. Others were seen shooting gas canisters without warning or cause. One member of the OPC was sprayed, another was hit with rubber pellets.

One of the biggest concerns were the people who were arrested even though they were not rioting.

The OPC is calling for an independent consultant to investigate potential department violations.

The Metropolitan Police Department is standing by its officers. On Monday night it released the following statement:

“The Metropolitan Police Department stands by its assertion that our officers acted responsibly and professionally during Inauguration Day. In response to the riots, the men and women of MPD made reasonable decisions during extremely volatile circumstances. We will take the Office of Police Complaints suggestions into account.”

The OPC also looked at the way the department handled the Women’s March, which was the day after the Inauguration.

Staff members said they spotted several uniformed officers cross the line by wearing pink hats to support the event, which is not allowed.

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