D.C. Police Chief Maurice T. Turner, for at least the second time in five months, returned as incomplete yesterday an internal report on alleged crime reporting improprieties in a Northeast police district.
Police sources said Turner is seeking "minor clarifications" in a 130-page report on allegations that top officials in the 6th District manipulated crime statistics to show a reduction in crime there. It is unclear when those may be provided, or when any action might be taken on the report.
Officials have been reluctant to discuss the report's contents. However, sources said several 6th District officials have been recommended for possible disciplinary action before a police trial board as a result of the investigation.
The delay brought sharp criticism from an official of the Fraternal Order of Police, which first made public the charges of record manipulation.
"It's becoming a little ridiculous," said Gary Hankins, chairman of the FOP bargaining committee. "It looks to us like they're trying to dodge it. There's certainly been more than enough time for a thorough investigation to be done."
Since last fall, officials have been investigating charges that Deputy Chief Isaac Fulwood, commander of the district east of the Anacostia River and north of Pennsylvania Avenue, underreported crime by ordering serious offenses downgraded to lesser violations. Fulwood is also alleged to have improperly transferred a detective who complained about the practice.
An initial report on the charges was compiled by Assistant Chief Marty Tapscott, head of the department's field operations. Turner returned that report for more information and written statements, and Deputy Chief Roland Perry of the youth division, who is under Tapscott's command, was assigned to conduct a fuller investigation.
Police sources said Perry and several other investigators interviewed more than 100 6th District detectives, officers and officials over a four-month period beginning in December about allegations that officers were instructed to downgrade crimes in their reports.
They also examined a sampling of more than 1,000 crime reports generated there last summer, in some cases returning to crime scenes and interviewing victims to check the veracity of reports later sent to police headquarters.
On Tuesday, Tapscott forwarded Perry's 130-page report to Turner, along with a list of recommended actions. According to an aide to the chief, Turner found that the report "was not finished." Turner declined to comment.
The investigation was prompted by a letter to Turner from the FOP last October. In the letter, the FOP outlined six cases in which serious crimes had been reclassified as lesser offenses.
The FOP charged that the cases, which included changing attempted burglaries to lesser categories of vandalism or destruction of property, represented a widespread effort on the part of Fulwood and others to downgrade crime figures.