A D.C. police officer who has been the subject of five complaints of brutality in the last 14 months has been taken off patrol in Adams-Morgan pending outcome of an internal investigation into the latest complaint, police officials confirmed last night.

Wayne Walker, 26, a two-year member of the force, was ordered on Friday to assume administrative duties inside the 3rd District station at 1620 V St. NW. The action came a day after Hispanic community leaders met with police officials and questioned why Walker was still patrolling the streets.

"He's in a noncontact status. That basically means he's inside somewhere," Officer Tom Randolph, a police spokesman, said last night.

Police officials are investigating the latest complaint against Walker, but four complaints dating to August 1986 are being examined by the Civilian Complaint Review Board, a seven-member panel that serves as a court of inquiry for police officers accused of brutality, harassment or bad language.

The most recent complaint against Walker involves a Nov. 13 incident in Adams-Morgan. Two men allege that Walker punched them without provocation in an incident that began when one of the men asked Walker to help break up a fight.

The other four complaints also allege that the officer used unnecessary force while making arrests.

The complaints against Walker have highlighted problems at the review board, which was formed in 1982 to investigate citizen complaints against police officers. The board's findings are forwarded to Police Chief Maurice T. Turner Jr.

Alfreda Davis Porter, newly appointed executive director of the board, has acknowledged that complaints are backlogged -- in some cases for years. Porter said that the small staff is underfunded and is using outmoded equipment to handle more than 350 complaints a year.