As Post staff writers Allison Klein and Nikita Stewart report this morning, the criticism is growing among council members for Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and Mayor Adrian Fenty's decision to set up a police checkpoint on a street in the Northeast neighborhood of Trinidad, where deadly violence has been on a frightening rise. The Post story quotes a directive from Lanier that details how the checkpoint is supposed to work, starting tomorrow. It also turns out that Lanier has had a plan for such checkpoints in the works for weeks.
But Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) and Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) joined Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) and Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) in raising concerns about the tactic. Echoing concerns by the American Civil Liberties Union, council members said while the intentions may be good, the potential constitutional issues involved can't be dismissed.
"They seem to lack . . . an ordinary sense of commonly protected rights," Cheh said, noting the department's recent initiatives are creating a disturbing pattern. "I assume they are acting out of good motivation, but they really have to look into the methods. It's really outrageous."
But Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) was supportive of the plan. "I commend the chief because she is doing her very best to come up with innovative ways to help resolve" the crisis.