A group of concerned attorneys, led by the D.C.'s ACLU’s Johnny Barnes, demonstrated against a policy of barring young males from D.C. public housing complexes.
They were joined by residents of D.C. public housing who say they or their families have been affected by the policy.
The attorneys says dozens of young males are being summarily arrested for violating barring notices that have no basis in law and that in many cases the person arrested doesn’t even know he has been barred.
The policy was even applied against Ward 8’s elected school board representative Trayon White, who was arrested and jailed in September for violating a barring notice at Woodland Terrace Public Housing where he had an office.
White said he was never informed of the notice, nor was he ever told why he was barred. Charges in his case were dropped last week.
White says he has no criminal record and no arrest record until arrested in this case.
The attorneys criticized the policy as racial profiling and urged D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan and U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen, “to immediately investigate what appears to be a systematic, unfair and unjust targeting of young African American males, resulting in arrests, criminal charges and records for individuals, in many cases, who have never had a problem with the judicial apparatus.”