City Desk

Police Shooting of Trey Joyner Produces Divergent Stories

Yesterday, U.S. Park Police–as part of a task force–found themselves in the middle of a very strange fatal shooting. Within 24 hours, police and news accounts have begun to differ on how U.S. Park Police officers ended up firing on Trey Joyner. And now the Partnership for Civil Justice has filed a FOIA seeking answers.

The U.S. Park Police has one story. And a WJLA story with interviews from potential neighborhood witnesses has yet another version of events. Let's break it down.

In an interview with City Desk, U.S. Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser, the department's spokesperson, lays out this simple scenario.

"Yesterday detectives received information about about a man with a gun, located the subject," Schlosser says. "While they were making the arrest, a struggle ensued. The suspect was shot. The suspect did have a gun and the gun was recovered at the scene."

According to WJLA account, Trey Joyner never pointed a gun at the cops:

On Monday night, four U.S. Park Police officers moved in when an informant reportedly made a call about a man with a gun. The plainclothes officers are part of the multi-agency Safe Streets Task Force.

Trey Joyner apparently got of a car and then something occurred which prompted the officers to fire repeatedly. Witnesses say they heard at least seven gunshots.

Investigators say they recovered a gun at the scene, but some who say they witnessed the shooting are adamant Joyner never brandished a gun or threatened the officers.

"He never pointed the gun at him," said a witness.

The diverting narratives could simply be due to the fact that the case is still very, very fresh. One hopes the D.C. Police Department were able to do a thorough canvas and that residents came forward with whatever they saw. The D.C. Police Department is handling the case.

Schlosser says: "We are cooperating completely with them."

This afternoon, the Partnership for Civil Justice announced that it had filed a FOIA request today seeking answers concerning this shooting. [You can read a PDF of the FOIA].

In a release, the Partnership writes:

"In response to reports that a resident of the District was shot in the back and killed last night in the Trinidad neighborhood by undercover federal law enforcement agents, the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund filed a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) today demanding disclosure of the directives and policies authorizing and implementing the program through which the officers were operating.

Few D.C. residents are aware of the existence of this FBI-led undercover law enforcement operation through which plain-clothed Park Police officers opened fire in the midst of a D.C. neighborhood. The fact of this operation, shrouded in darkness, came to light in reports published today that the officers involved in the above-referenced incident were working as part of an MPD and federal “inter-agency task force dubbed Operation Safe Streets, which addresses violence throughout the region and is overseen by the FBI.” (See Debbi Wilgoren and Martin Weil, The Washington Post, June 9, 2009, online edition)

The FOIA request was submitted to the MPD, the Mayor’s Office, the FBI and the National Park Service’s Police."

U.S. Park Police were last involved in a shooting on April 13 of this year at 2nd and K Street NE. Schlosser says that investigation is still on-going.

*Correction: This reporter in a previous post was completely confused about this police shooting. He mixed up the earlier police shooting from yesterday morning with the Park Police shooting from last night. Item has been fixed. Embarrassment remains.

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  • Geentees

    Doesn't that press release refer to another incident entirely?

  • What

    Are you serious?

    C'mon Cherkis, shoddy work.

    There were two separate police shootings yesterday - one in the morning and one at night - one with MPD and one with Park Police.

  • fedupcitizen

    Before any blame is set wait until all the evidence is in. We have a trendency for jumping to conclusion If the officers we wrong then they should be prosecuted. As for the children they may be other reason why they were outside again don't jump to conclusions, find out who did it instead of balming the parents.

  • Jason Cherkis

    I am totally confused. Good catch on the different shootings.

  • Jason Cherkis

    I will fix.

  • fedupcitizen

    excuse me blaming.

  • Simon

    again, I wonder -- why not just axe the story entirely? your correction is basically meaningless. seems to have happened more than once with this blog.

  • Jason Cherkis

    I didn't kill the blog post because I simply re-wrote the thing and added some stuff and took out the police department's press release. The mistake I made was dumb as hell but fixable. Again, I apologize for confusing the two shootings.

  • Lance


    You are an idiot. Your facts are completely inaccurate and you should remove the article all together.

  • DC resident

    U go to hell Lance. Jason is the Mann!!!

  • Wanda (Family)

    Thank you for your post. This has been the most informative posting that I've read so far!! It's hard being so far away and wondering what the hell happened. Please keep us in the loop!!!We can't afford to let the media make a mockery of my cousins name!! He was a good man, from a good family, and he didn't disserve this. We Love ya Trey!! People please help us to find out the truth!! What would you do if this was family member? Please Help!!

  • Greg

    Who is the Partnership for civil justice? And why are they so confused about the Safe Streets Task Force? This task force, which according to the Partnership, is "shrouded in darkness", has been around since 1992 and is located in 130 cities across the country. Doesn't sound like a big secret to me.

  • micole

    well from hearing everything i think that there is some coverig up. its the witness against the park police! and from being a resident of the neighborhood and knowing tre personally, the Park police is in serious trouble. For one the witness around there dont speak to police nor the news reporters at all on anything unless its the truth. When someones in tha act of wrong they dont speak on the issue but they take stand for whats right. That i do know. so when the witness said that he never shot at the police, it had to be the truth.I know from kowing tre myself that he was around there to be with his friends asnd to hang out.he was young. bottom line subject its what people do whether some agree or disagree. the neighborhood isnt the type where may do that but hey!and he had a gun.go on a search through the whole neighborhood and find out who does and who dont! you will see 100 year old granny with 2 and maybe one for a backup =]

  • Tommy

    Hey Micole, way to butcher the English language.

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