Washington, D.C. police officers who were caught on camera running red lights, one nearly colliding with a vehicle that had the right of way, will not be fined.
Records showed case after case of Metropolitan Police Department cruisers coasting through red lights without their emergency flashing lights on, according to an investigative report from WUSA9 reporter Russ Ptacek.
MPD officials say city policy allows police to respond to “an emergency” without stopping at lights by signaling with a “bell, siren or exhaust whistle.”
Videos provided to WUSA9 through a Freedom of Information Act request had no sound.
Investigators found 14 cases in the last two years that show police breezing through stoplights and blocking crosswalks. All traffic tickets issued to the police were thrown out.
MPD Police Chief Cathy Lanier has no responded to two months of requests for interviews from the local news channel. When they stopped her on the street she insisted that police officers "have to be following the rules.”
"I'm not going to stand here and argue with you," she told Ptacek as he pressed for answers. "You're making a fool of yourself."
The thrown out tickets concern DC Council Member Tommy Wells, head of the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.
"What would be good to know is what internal actions the Chief has taken,” Wells said. “If they're not following the rules they've set for personnel, then I'd like to know what the Chief's thoughts are about that.”
“There's an expectation of public safety,” he added, “that it's not just trying to solve a crime or respond to an emergency, you don't want to create another emergency along the way. There's a reason why there's rules against this."