The Washington Post

District, D.C. police to form task force to tackle LGBT and hate-crime issues

D.C. police officials announced Thursday they will form a task force to evaluate the department’s investigation and reporting of hate crimes, and assess its outreach and partnerships with communities citywide.

The announcement came as Paul Quander, deputy mayor for public safety, and Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier met with members of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender (LGBT) community on Wednesday to inform them of the move. The city and department have faced criticism for the handling of investigations into hate crimes and how officers deal with issues surrounding such cases. Officials have had ongoing negotiations to try to improve relations.

The new task force will include representatives from the Anti-Defamation League, Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Transgender Equality, the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights, and two academics from Northeastern University West Virginia University, police officials said.

Authorities said the group will focus on outreach and response to the LGBT community and also will probe how police work with other groups.

Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.
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