Dustin Sternbeck, a D.C. police spokesman, said Internal Affairs is investigating the crash, which occurred during the evening hours along Anacostia Avenue NE, near Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens.
The officers, all recent hires from the 6th Police District, were put on “noncontact status,” meaning they are not allowed to interact with the public during the investigation.
Sternbeck said it appears that the officers “may have been racing, which resulted in an accident.”
Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said at a news conference Monday that “if we had officers who were engaging in this dangerous behavior, I would view it as a dereliction of duty, and they would have to be held accountable.”
The mayor said the investigation needs to proceed to determine any disciplinary action, but she said it appears that the officers put people at risk “and that is unacceptable.”
Bowser’s office on Monday made public the crash report, which provides details.
The report says both cruisers were southbound and at high speed on Anacostia Avenue. The report says the driver of one vehicle tried to turn left in front of the other and caused the collision. The impact pushed one vehicle onto a sidewalk and into a fence.
The report also says all four officers declined to make statements to investigators at the scene. The names of the officers were not made public.
Cmdr. Durriyyah Habeebullah, who heads the 6th Police District, sent an internal email to department officials saying the officers, “instead of fighting crime, patrolling their beats, or engaging the community — they decided to drag race each other on Anacostia Avenue at 5 p.m.”
The email, obtained by Fox 5 and confirmed as accurate by Sternbeck, added, “What does this say to all the members of [the department] who are passionate about their job and work hard every day to make a difference. This is not fair to any of us.”
Michael Brice-Saddler contributed to this report.