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Nadeau Calls for Probe in Teen’s Arrest at Columbia Heights Metro

by Tim Regan October 20, 2016 at 3:15 pm 14 Comments

(Updated at 5:07 p.m.) Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau is calling for an investigation into an incident that led to an arrest of a teen at the Columbia Heights Metro station Tuesday.

A video shared by the District’s Black Lives Matter group this week shows Metro Transit Police Department officers tripping an 18-year-old in handcuffs at the station. As reported by DCist and The Washington Post, officers arrested the young woman after she refused to throw away a lollipop and a bag of chips at the Metro stop, where consuming food is prohibited.

The video shows three Metro cops ordering a teen, who is handcuffed, to sit down. When she refuses, one of the officers trips her, knocking her to the ground.

The young woman was arrested for unlawful entry and taken to a D.C. Police station. Police later decided not to pursue charges, a Metro spokesman told the Post.

In a letter to Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld today, Nadeau said the video “indicates an excessive use of force for a violation of consuming food in a metro station.”

“I am extremely concerned that WMATA police officers took the measures they did in detaining this young woman,” Nadeau wrote. “Please conduct an investigation into the conduct of these officers. Please also describe to me what training WMTA police undergo for de-escalation tactics.”

According to Metro spokesman Dan Stessel, Metro police review use of force “whenever there is a public concern raised.”

“In addition, Metro GM Wiedefeld specifically asked MTPD Chief Pavlik to initiate such a review in this case,” Stessel continued.

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