D.C. City Council member H.R. Crawford and a spokesperson for a citizens advisory council yesterday accused a police labor leader of being caustic and racially biased when he alleged that the mayor and the chief of police had mishandled an investigation of alleged improprieties in the reporting of crimes.
Gary Hankins, chairman of the labor committee of the Fraternal Order of Police, said Wednesday that he believed the mayor and the police chief had not probed deep enough into allegations that crime reports in the 6th District were systematically downgraded to suggest a decrease in serious crime.
An investigation of the allegations, conducted by Assistant Chief Marty M. Tapscott, had found no evidence of fraudulent actions or improper action by the 6th District commander, Deputy Chief Isaac Fulwood, but Hankins has disputed those findings.
"We, the community, are tired of this nonsense," said Crawford (D-Ward 7), who represents the area that includes the 6th District. "We want to get on with fighting crime in Ward 7."
"I'm beginning to question the integrity of the FOP, which continues to let its leadership make these infuriating claims of improprieties," Crawford said. "It's beginning to have racial overtones, and it's time to put this thing to rest."
Virginia Morris, chairman of the 6th District Police Citizens Advisory Council, said, "Clearly, with all the evidence to the contrary of Mr. Hankins' allegations and his crude manner in bringing them, what becomes evident is an attempt to defame . . . Deputy Chief Fulwood, Chief Turner and Mayor Marion Barry.
"We unequivocally believe that he would not being doing it if Fulwood or Turner or the mayor were white," she said.
Hankins was not immediately available for comment yesterday.
Crawford and Morris, joined by Fulwood, made their statements at a press conference held on the steps of the 6th District headquarters at 42nd Street and Benning Road NE and attended by a crowd of about 70 police officers, officials and civilians.
In a letter to Council Chairman Arrington Dixon, Hankins criticized the investigation and accused Barry and police department officials of an unfair labor practice in transferring the officer who initiated the complaint against Fulwood from the detective bureau to uniformed scooter patrol.
Hankins asked Dixon to hold hearings on the matter, but Dixon had no immediate comment.