Metro’s newly appointed transit police chief said Thursday he will have his department conduct an internal investigation after two of his officers were accused by teenagers and their families for using excessive force and then trying to cover up the misconduct.
Police chief Ron Pavlik said he’s “concerned with allegations” that were brought in lawsuits with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against two transit officers. He said the two officers are still working with pay at this time for the transit agency.
One of the lawsuits alleges that Officers Tierra Wood and Lanisha McCoy put a 14-year-old boy in a chokehold, punched him several times in the torso and subdued him with pepper spray. The incident occurred in June when the officers intervened in a confrontation between the boy and another teenager at a bus stop on Minnesota Avenue NE.
In the second lawsuit, Stacey Winslow alleges that her daughter was hit in the head with a closed fist by Officer Leo Taylor during an arrest in January at the Stadium-Armory Metro station for an alleged curfew violation. The 14-year-old teenager was handcuffed, and after she stood up, the officer slammed her head into the side of a bus shelter, the lawsuit claims
. Later, she was found to have a concussion, according to the suit.