City Desk

Captain Crack-Up

Yesterday, news broke that a D.C. Police Department official had his police powers revoked. Third District Capt. Melvin Gresham has been removed from his official duties pending the outcome of a now long-running investigation into his conduct over a car accident.

Apparently, in November, Gresham got into an accident with a Metro bus. He then ordered one of his subordinates to alter the accident report.

Here's what WTOP reported:

"WTOP has learned Capt. Melvin Gresham from the Third District Police station in Northwest was involved in an accident with a Metro bus while driving his department vehicle. Gresham told a subordinate officer, who responded to the accident, to change a police report to indicate the Metro bus driver was at fault."

Lt. Michael Smith was on the scene that day. He says that he has since cooperated with the investigation. Since the investigation is pending, he refused to reveal any details of what he told investigators.

Smith says the investigation has stressed him out. He adds that he has gained 30 pounds as a result of the incident.

Was he surprised that Gresham was removed? “I wasn’t surprised at all," Smith says. "To tell you the truth, that’s why I was so stressed out. I knew that it was going to be serious.”

A police official, who is familiar with Gresham's conduct overall, says the captain has long targeted other cops with flimsy misconduct charges. “He targeted people," says the officer, who requested anonymity. "I think he was just not a fair person."

Do you trust Gresham? “No. Absolutely not,” the officer says.

For now police officials are busy offering up a lot of no comments. Gresham did not answer his cell phone when we called this afternoon. There's more to the captain's saga. Stay tuned.

Gresham isn't the only Third District official who has fallen under scrutiny. We wrote about another captain's issues a while back.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
  • Todd M Korson

    It seems you have some errors in your article. Please correct them.

    1st, a number of news stations have stated that the vehicle was not a police vehicle. It was a POV.

    2nd, you quote an unnamed source stated the Capt. 'unfairly' targeted officers. This is foolish since Capt. do not start investigations on officers. They may be the final say; however it would be direct supervisors that start the investigation. A srgt or perhaps a lt. I have worked with Capt. Gresham while we were assigned to 7D. I never heard any complaints against him made by officers. I know I never had a complaint against him. I do not know what happened on this 10-50, however I would like you to clarify the facts. Either your report is incorrect about the vehicle or all the other local stations are. And the unnamed source, that’s just foolish. Look up the Capt. Record, and see if in fact he has a large number of misconduct investigations that he started. Cal the union and see if there have been a number of complaints leveled against him. Just quoting some coward that wont give his name, is not really good reporting, is it?

    Todd M Korson

  • Jason Cherkis

    The person I quoted is far from a coward but a veteran MPD officer. I do think Captains can initiate investigations, etc.

    I've heard both things: cop car and personal car. I think you are correct that it was his personal car. But that's not what WTOP reported.

  • Todd

    Yet he refused to give his name... odd dont you think.

    A capt. can ofcourse dont you think it would be good for your article to check on your facts tho?

    It just seems to print in your article one thing, and then claim, Well thats what someone said, is a bit silly. Isnt it?

  • Jason Cherkis

    Whether he drove his own car or a police car--does it matter? He allegedly forced a subordinate to alter the accident report. Captains can initiate an investigation. I've talked to two officers who said they were subjected to his spurred investigations. I plan on posting another follow up item on this matter. I have calls out!

  • Todd

    Thats all I am asking. And yes it does make a difference, if it is a POV or a Scout. Why else would you make a point to indicate in your article that it was a police vehicle?

    I look forward to a follow up. It would also be nice to at least try and get a statement from the capt. himself.

    Howabout the pd10, it is a public document.

  • Glen


    You are incorrect about who can initiate investigation Capt. Gresham can and has initiated numerous investigations against officers. Capt. Gresham testified in several arbitration cases where officers discipline was overturned becasue the arbitrators found him not credible. I'm talking about 30 suspensions without pay, if you really want to know what his true reputation is check with the guys at NSID. They were harmed the most by his lies; those officers are still fighting to get off the Lewis list because of him.

  • Todd

    No follow up yet? Been ten days since you posted the article, how long until something is posted that backs up the claims in the article? Seems a tad like slander if you ask me. I know you didn’t ask, bit convenient that way, isn’t it? The damage is done, lets move on to someone else, aye?

  • Todd

    NSID>? You mean the guys that were found with evidence in their lockers? Holly crap!

    I didnt say a capt cant initiate an investigation, I said it would be odd. Now another problem, I guess I missed it earlier is your comment about the'lewis list'. You are aware that only means you are CURRENTLY under investigation, right? If your not under investigation by the USAO, your not on the Lewsi list. As such no one fights to be removed from the list. Either your on it, or not.

    It has to do with conflict of intrest. If the USAO is investigating you, they have to disclose it BEFORE you testify, because one could argue you have been given a deal under the table. IE> You say X, and we drop the investigation.

  • Lt. Michael Smith

    I can’t speak of any details of the ongoing case here, but I can say that Captain Gresham has not been before a trial board yet where all the facts can be reviewed. Until that time, I think that no detail facts of the investigation itself should be released. To do so may interfere with the investigation or any subsequent hearing where witnesses are questioned.

    As for myself, I will seek a policy change by the department. If a subordinate officer such as myself is identified and required to be a witness against a superior officer such as Captain Gresham in an “alleged”, and I stress an alleged serious misconduct matter, that officer should not also be required to be directly supervised by the superior.

    I will say that perception, whether right or wrong is a powerful thing. To be in that position for months on end where you are under the thumb, so to speak, of the same superior officer you are a witness against has a devastating impact that not only affects your work and your home life, but your health too. I intend to see that this never happens to anyone else.

  • Todd Korson

    Any time frame for this follow up, or are you just going to slander the man?

  • Tim Samuels

    Todd...I am glad you are vehemently defending this man, however your facts about the "Lewis List" are incorrect. Those officers from NSID were found of no wrong-doing by both the department and USAO, however, they are trying to get their names removed from this list.

    Officers do remain on this list; even after the U.S. attorney's "investigation." The USAO is not forthcoming about this list, or the reason why an officer is on it, so this greatly impedes any opportunity to be removed. I am sure that you can name some officers that are on this list. I know officers that have been on this list for over seven years (I am sure the investigation would be over by then).

    I know an officer that is currently on the list for over three years because the U.S. Attorney's questioned him in reference to another officer's misconduct. This officer's role in the investigation is caught on tape and shows that he merely arrived on the scene when the fireboard did and had no part in the alleged misconduct. However, he was placed on this list with three other officers in that investigation. The criminal side had been finished, as well as the administrative side, yet all officers are still on the Lewis List. This one officer has repeatedly talked with the FOP, Chief's office, and lawyers to get this situation resolved. The USAO will not work with him in this manner.

    Now, I fully feel that if an officer actually did something that warrants him to be on the Lewis List, he should be fired. However, it has been shown that this list is arbitrary and based without merit.

  • Todd

    You are in error about the list. It is only while an investigation is ongoing. which US attorney have you spoken to about the list? Your facts are in error. Yes I have known officers that were on the list, because they were under investigation BY the USAO. When they were cleared, they were no longer on the list. If they were not cleared, they have whatever administrative, or criminal punishment thats assigned.

    However, I am waiting to see more on this case. I never partied with the Capt. He was far outside my pay grade, however I was assigned to 7D while he was. I have asked around, of other officers that know the man. This is very out of sync from what I, and the other officers think about the man.

    Ofcourse that doesnt mean the alligation is untrue, but I will need alot more information to say that he did it.

  • Todd Korson

    Inoticed yous topped following this case, have you saw the lawsuit he filled??

    A lot of zereos in it!

  • Todd Korson

    I see that was full of the type o's. However why have you stopped in your coverage of this story? Seems that much more is comming out now, dont you think that is important?

  • Ten30DC

    An Update -- within days of the erroneous information by WTOP and the FOX 5 new interview of Capt Melvin Gresham, Chief Cathy Lanier DROPPED all charges against him.

    1. Lt Smith was off duty at the time of the event -- Lt Smith who allegedly witnessed this "gross" misconduct failed to notified IAD (until months later after he, himself became under investigation for another matter.)

    2. Lt. Smith allowed a METRO supervisor to enter the 3D officers report writing area to assist the officer in taking the 10-50 report -- since when is that allowed????

    3. The Metro supervisor refused to be interviewed during the IAD portion of the investigation.

    4. 3D commander and assistant commander were notified by Lt SMith the following day of what he allegedly witnessed while in an off duty capacity. But no investigation was conducted until Jan 2008.

    5. The Dept's 90 rule began the moment management knew or should have known -- the moment Lt Smith witnessed whatever he claimed to have witnessed began the clock.

    6. Lt. Smith's failure to nitfy IAD was never investigated, his failure to timely notify Commander McCoy was never investigated, his failure to acknowledge that he allowed the METRO supervisor (who was not involved nor on the scene at the time of the accident) inside secure 3D facility to assist the officer in writing his report.

    7. The officer has not been sent back to the academy to learn the skills necessary to investigate accidents nor has his sergeant...seeing that Lt. Smith did not trust either the officer or the officer's supervisor to write a simple side-swipe accident report, no injuries, one POV, one METRO bus...

    8. Why is it that LT SMITH is FULL Duty when he could not assist the officer in the report writing, he failed to take appropriate action (if his later story is true) and why is it that he is so STRESSED from a little incident...perhaps he needs to go to the clinic. Let's not even discuss his credibility issues.......

  • Todd Korson

    Sounds like a good story still, however not the one painted at the start.

    Thanks for the update.

    Todd Korson

  • Ten30DC

    Todd -- The update was not from Cherkis, he remains silent. I posted the update... Gresham was unfairly targeted as retaliation by Inspector Delgado, Captain Mark Beach, Chief Lanier, Lt. Mike Smith, and others who stray outside the normative behaviors of civilized society. They hate that Captain Gresham is NOT corrupt and CANNOT be corrupted. Cherkis cries when a corrupt COP attacks his character but still plays to those who feed him his news... When MPDC dropped all of the false allegations against Captain Gresham, why wasn't there a press release? Why wasn't anything done to Tracey Hughes -- Lanier's mouthpiece? She reported to WTOP and FOX 5 that Gresham was On Duty, in a police cruiser and that the incident had occurred over that weekend, not some 6+ months earlier in his POV, while off-duty... if you or I made a false representation to the news media we would be at the Trial Board....

  • Todd

    My bad I figured the paper was actually being somewhat responsible and doing a follow up. Just not the same author. This is actually very sad. Kind of shows the slant of the paper I guess.

    Maybe he is looking into what the Lewis list is?

  • Todd

    Still nothing????

    But way back up there, many months ago you said....
    Jason Cherkis Says:
    May 8th, 2008 at 8:11 pm
    Whether he drove his own car or a police car–does it matter? He allegedly forced a subordinate to alter the accident report. Captains can initiate an investigation. I’ve talked to two officers who said they were subjected to his spurred investigations. I plan on posting another follow up item on this matter. I have calls out!


    This is pretty fubar.

  • Todd

    What a fricking shocker! no reply from the paper, the email I sent, or the post. This is truly sad.

    BS, thats why no one trust these bums any more!


    Hey timmy why dont you and your cowarr un identified idiots bump yourself!

  • Todd

    LT Smith seems like maybe just maybe your full of it.

  • Ten30DC

    LT Smith went on the offensive to create an excuse to use at his own trial board... it's amazing that when IAD interviewed him in January, he stated he observed Captain Gresham violating the rights of this officer, maligning the METRO bus driver -- gee guess Lt Smith missed that what to do when witnessing inappropriate behavior by a MPDC person -- like notify someone... you and I would have been written up for that!!!!!

    Smith failed to call the Commander, Cruiser 28, the Watch Commander -- neither he nor the officer "forced" to write the PD10 knew what to do -- yea, give me a break, LT Smith has been around for decades, has been called to IAD numerous times -- he is so full of himself that he just smells... but somehow he always manages to survive... and I bet he is quite familiar with the Lewis List...I know I wouldn't want him testifying on any of my cases...nor the "officer" involved in this matter... MPDC, Chief Lanier, Commander Greene all owe Captain Gresham an apology... unfortunately he will have to have the Court declare his apology...

  • Jason Cherkis
  • Todd Korson

    Is he going to hti on any of the points raised in this forum? It seems as though he is trying VERY hard to avoid them.

  • Todd Korson

    I guess not.

  • Jason Cherkis

    Um, Todd, you should check the blog more often! Please read part four:

  • Todd Korson

    Cherks here is an idea; MAYBE you should actually investigate a story.
    Try it some time. Why don’t you tell me more about the people FIGHTING to be removed form a list that you can’t be removed from, since you are on the list if your under an investigation BY the USAO. Go ahead. Tell us more.

    By the way, seems odd that you have had what 4 installments, plus the original story, and you havent even come close to touching on ANY of the issues brought forward in this discourse. Odd dont you thinik, I mean for a reporter. You seem to ask very few questions.

  • Todd Korson

    Didnt think so.