A D.C. school board member was arrested over the weekend, but says he doesn't understand why.
The city says Trayon White violated an order to stay out of a local apartment building, but he claims to know nothing of the order.
White is Ward 8's elected school representative. Mayor Vincent Gray and others joined him on a Ward 8 boat ride last Saturday. White says right after the ride, he went to Woodland Terrace to check on children but he was arrested by D.C. and housing police.
"I thought they thought I was somebody else until they said my name, then I was shocked,” White said.
Police said he was barred from the property, but the D.C. housing authority would not say why. Deputy Chief Jesse Millhouse said any sworn police officer, special police officer and MPD officer can issue a bar notice.
The 27-year-old White says he never saw a bar notice. Southeast residents rally around White, who works with at-risk youths through his nonprofit and has an office in the complex.
"The simple fact is Trayon White is an elected official, he has every right to be in Woodland Terrace, he's a Ward 8 elected official at that,” said Devon Johnson, the president of the resident’s council.
A defense investigator says barring is a new police tool in the projects.
"It's all been young black men and I see it as some form of trying to just clean up the streets but I don't find it effective,” said court defense investigator Shafequa Pasha.
White says instead of arresting him, the city should support his work.
“I should be getting support because the residents of this community are underserved, under privileged and all I do is try to the community and help out the young people as much as I can and I don’t get paid to work around Woodland,” he said.