Metro Transit Police Open Internal Investigation After Video Shows Officer Use Taser on Man
A video of the arrest has been gaining attention on social media, as it appears to show a Metro Transit Police officer using a taser on a man who allegedly interfered in a MTPD investigation
Metro Transit Police said it has opened an internal investigation into an officer's use of force during an arrest at the U Street Metro station in Northwest Washington after social media outrage.
A video of the incident has sparked outrage on social media, as it shows a Metro Transit Police officer using a taser on an unarmed black man who allegedly interfered in an MTPD investigation on Saturday.
The video appears to show two MTPD officers asking questions of two juveniles on a Metro platform, while a man asks questions of the officers.
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Then, a third MTPD officer engages the man, pushes him back and uses a taser after the man raises his hands.
"We take use-of-force matters seriously, and we are committed to fostering the public's trust in us," Metro Transit Police said in a statement posted on Twitter.
The incident, which occurred on Saturday evening at the U St/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo station, has sparked outrage on social media, with groups like Black Lives Matter DC and D.C. Council member Robert C. White, Jr. condemning the actions by the police officer.
"The violent and dangerous escalation here by @wmata Transit Police is terrifying. It put lives unnecessarily in danger and it breeds anger and distrust that move us further away from public safety. I have contacted the Chief of WMATA Transit Police," White said on Twitter.
White told News4 that he has seen similar incidents in which African American youth appear to have their rights violated.
MTPD said in its statement that the officers were responding to a report of disorderly juveniles who were allegedly threatening Metro patrons on the platform with sticks, and that its officers detained the juveniles in the video because they were pointed out by witnesses. Those officers could not locate a victim of a crime and the juveniles who had been detained were released.
Metro also said the third officer in the video used the taser because the man who had not been detained was interfering in the police investigation and "exhibited behavior consistent with preparing to fight the officer."
"After the subject disregarded warnings to move back, the officer deployed his department issued CEW (commonly known as a TASER), and was able to take the man into custody. Neither the subject nor the involved officer reported an injury," MTPD said.
Metro Transit Police confirmed to News4 that the officer involved in the incident remains on duty.
Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for updates on this developing story.