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Statement from Mayor Bowser on the Announcement from the United States Attorney’s Office

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser released the following statement on the announcement from the United States Attorney’s Office: 

“Today I was informed by the United States Attorney’s Office that it has concluded its investigation into the September 11, 2016 death of Terrence Sterling without any charges being filed. This was a tragic death of a young man who was much beloved by his family and friends. 

”With the conclusion of the criminal investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Metropolitan Police Department will immediately begin its disciplinary review of the officer’s actions. While the District of Columbia Government has no control over the federal prosecutor’s decision in this case, we do control our agencies’ policies and procedures.   

“Our police department is one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the country with very progressive community policing practices. The men and women who put on the uniform are among the most professional, dedicated, and compassionate of public servants. The District has one of the nation’s largest body-worn camera programs with expansive rules on public access to footage. As I said at the time and I say again today: it is unacceptable that in this incident, the officer failed to activate his body-worn camera in violation of MPD policies. For that reason, I ordered MPD to change its policy and require officers to confirm with dispatchers that they activated their body-worn cameras when responding to incidents.

“The relationship between our officers and the communities they serve is built on trust.  That trust exists when we hold everyone accountable. Without accountability in this case, we break trust with our community–rendering the District and MPD less safe and less strong.  I do not believe there can be real accountability if the officer remains on the force.  As the department commences its disciplinary review, MPD has asked for the officer’s resignation. 
“Nothing we do will bring back a young life lost last September.  What we can do is commit ourselves to ensuring justice and providing accountability.  On behalf of all residents of the District of Columbia, I want to once again extend our condolences to Mr. Sterling’s family.”