Two D.C. police officers have been taken off the streets and put on desk duty after they were caught on video disparaging a crime victim and appearing to misbehave at the scene of a burglary.
Authorities said the 7th District officers are targets of an internal investigation that began after a man returned home from a trip earlier this month and watched his private surveillance video of a burglary that occurred Aug. 8 and left his apartment ransacked.
The video shows not only a man using a rock to shatter a rear glass door but also the officers who came to investigate. Twice, one officer appears to break out into a brief jig while another officer can be heard commenting that the victim “is probably gay.” That is followed by laughter.
The video of the officers was first reported by WRC-TV on Thursday night. D.C. police had earlier posted a video of the burglar breaking the door and ransacking the apartment in the 400 block of Woodcrest Drive SE.
The resident told the television station that the officers “were dancing in my house and acting as if this was a joke. This is serious. This is my life.” He also told the station that officers had responded to his residence for a burglar alarm but were seen on video leaving after checking only the front door. He said that hours later, a neighbor saw the damage to the back door and called police. It could not be determined whether the same officers responded to both calls.
The man who lives in the residence could not be reached by The Washington Post.
D.C. police issued a statement saying that internal investigators “are aware of the complaint that was filed against two Seventh District officers for their actions on the scene of a residential burglary.” The statement adds, “Their behavior is not representative of the inclusive environment we work tirelessly to uphold on a daily basis for residents and visitors of D.C. We remain committed to providing positive interactions with all and hold the trust of the community in high regards.”
The officers were put on what is called “non-contact status,” meaning they are not allowed to interact with the public until the end of the investigation.
A police report filed on the Aug. 8 burglary says it could not be determined what, if any, items had been taken. The same apartment had been burglarized July 17, and the victim reported the loss of a 65-inch television, speakers, a Rolex watch, an iPad and iPod, two MacBook computers, a digital camera, two backpacks, men’s cologne, an iPhone 6 and Giorgio Armani sunglasses.