D.C. Council member condemns Park Police for detaining youths selling water on Mall
D.C. Council member condemns Park Police for detaining youths selling water on Mall.
The plainclothes officers were part of a task force seeking out illegal vending.
In his letter to Park Police Chief Robert D. MacLean, Allen said that had the same officers encountered children with a lemonade stand and a hand-painted sign, “I doubt we would have seen little girls in pigtails handcuffed on the ground.” Allen asked MacLean if he should warn parents across the District about not stepping on Park property, which includes dozens of small “pocket parks,” lest they “are likely to be handcuffed and searched.” One series of photos that were widely circulated on Twitter were taken by Tim Krepp, a tour guide for 11 years.
“I’m pretty frankly disgusted by it,” Krepp said.
And I don’t believe that the image of young African American men handcuffed on the ground for selling bottled water is a reflection of my city.” Rose did not address Allen’s letter and did not respond to a request to interview MacLean.
She sent a prepared statement that said four individuals were initially detained “for illegally vending on the Mall.” She said one adult was released when it became apparent he was not involved.
The others were held for investigation.
Rose said each told the officers they did not have the required permit.
She said one of the youths is 16 and two are 17 and were released to their parents or guardians.
firstname.lastname@example.org Fenit Nirappil and Perry Stein contributed to this report