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D.C. Official Observing Night Life Is Arrested

By Elissa Silverman and Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, October 15, 2008

An Adams Morgan advisory neighborhood commissioner who said she was watching how police and the public interact there in the often boisterous early morning hours was herself arrested early Sunday.

Nancy Shia, commissioner for single member district 1C-06, said she was charged with being disorderly, failing to obey a police officer and assault on a police officer. She said last night that she was not guilty of the offenses. A police report said she impeded an investigation, took pictures within a crime scene and failed to leave when told. It also said she opened a police vehicle to photograph a suspect who was a juvenile.

Shia said she followed instructions, did not intrude on any crime scene and did not open the door of any police vehicle. She said she photographed two women who had just been arrested and were sitting in the street. A third person who was arrested was also there, but not in a car, she said.

The incident occurred about 2:45 a.m. in the 2400 block of 18th Street NW. Shia, 61, said she is a freelance photographer and a member of her commission's public safety committee, and was "observing the situation" and taking pictures on 18th Street, which she said is "out of control." D.C. police said Friday that they would add to patrols in Adams Morgan after a series of street robberies.

Shia said she was given a court date and released Sunday evening. D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), who called Shia "a good soul," said a nearby police surveillance camera might clarify events.

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