A special police panel looking into charges of racial bias and incompetence against Deputy D. C. Police Chief William Trussell expects to have a crucial part of its report completed this week.
Assistant Chief Maurice Turner, the senior officer on the panel, said the three-man team plans to forward its report on the racial charge to Chief Burtell Jefferson tommorrow.
In announcing formation of the panel last week, Jefferson had asked for an immediate resolution of the racial charge leveled against Trussell by members of his homicide squad. Jefferson was out of his office yesterday and could not be reached for comment on the status of the investigation. Aides said he would be out of town on personal business the rest of the week, and there was no indication when he would make an announcement on the panel's findings.
However, City Administrator Elijah Rogers, who is monitoring the investigation for Mayor Marion Barry, said he expects to panel's report on the racial charge to be reviewed by Jefferson and the mayor next week.
In an unprecedented public rebellion, D.C. police homicide squad members charged almost two weeks ago that Trussell, chief of detectives, had jeopardized several major investigations with his personal intervention into the cases.
In addition, the detectives said Trussell, who is white, on two occasions made a remark they believe equated blacks with animals.
At an extraordinary, closed meeting with homicide squad members on May 7, Detectives told Jefferson that Trussell had said on two separate occasions:
"Not all people go into shock. Animals don't go into shock when they are shot and neither do blacks." Seven white detectives said they had heard the remark.
Jefferson, at a press conference two days later, said he considered the racial charge the "most serious," and that he had ordered Trussell to make a written report on the alleged racial incident.
At the same time, Jefferson appointed Turner, the No. 2 man on the force; Assistant Chief Marty Tapscott, head of administrative services; and deputy counsel Richard Brooks to look into the charges. Jefferson said at a press conference last week that the panel members have been relieved of all otheer duties until their investigation has been completed.
Trussell, who has neither denied nor confirmed publicly that he made the remark, declined yesterday to talk with reporters. Trussell completed his written report for Jefferson on the racial remark May 8. He was scheduled to complete his report yesterday on the incompetency charges.
The special police panel has interviewed and taken signed statements from the seven homicide detectives who said they heard the remark.
The panel yesterday began interviewing other members of the squad on their charges that Trussell, head of the Criminal Investigations Division, had jeopardized several major cases through his interference.
In the May 7 meeting with Jefferson, the detectives outlined more than two-dozen instances in which they believe Trussel disrupted investigations.
Their complaints centered on three recent cases: A triple slying in Southeast Washington last September, the killing of a Capitol Hill woman in her home in February, and the drawning death of a 5-month old baby in a bathtub at the Capital Hilton Hotel in April CAPTION: Picture 1, SILHOUETTE-Two fishermen chug up Seneca Creek, passing under bridge carrying the C&O Canal. By John McDonnell-The Washington Post; Picture 2, DEPUTY CHIEF WILLIAM TRUSSELL . . . part of study to be submitted