City Desk

D.C. Police Official Allegedly Threatens Cop

Shooting, Columbia Heights

The No. 1 complaint of most D.C. Police officers isn't about stupid residents. Or even false alarms. Or, for that matter, thugs.

The rank and file, rather, love to bitch about their bosses. They've never made any real arrests. They're messing around with my days off. They don't let me do my job.

And that's where it usually ends. The grunts mutter something under their breath, always off the record, and go about their business.

Yet on Dec. 28 the old cop-vs.-white-shirt tension went a bit beyond its usual confines. Inside the D.C. Police Department's Special Operations Division (SOD), it exploded into threats of violence.

According to police records, Officer Steven Hebron had made the mistake of questioning why Captain Burt Henry had taken overtime assignments. Hebron allegedly believed Henry's use of overtime was unnecessary. The allegation did not sit well with Henry.

Henry spent a lot of time on Dec. 28 hunting down Hebron. Whoever was in his path got an earful. Marvin Spriggs was ready to leave the office on an assignment when Henry yelled for him to stop what he was doing and listen to his rant.

"As I walked over to him it was clear that he was upset by the look on his face," Spriggs wrote in his witness statement. "At this time, he pointed his finger toward me and stated, 'Tell your motherfucking boy to keep my name out of his mouth.'"

Spriggs stated that he then asked Henry which officer he was talking about. Henry replied: "That bitch Hebron! I'm going to fuck him up. I'm going to get him....Where is he?" Spriggs told the captain that Hebron was inside. "Capt. Henry then stormed inside looking for officer Hebron."

Hebron, in his own statement to police, stated that a fellow officer informed him that Henry was looking for him. He left the roll call room and entered the locker room, where he spotted Henry and another officer sitting on a couch. Henry then confronted the officer.

Hebron writes:

"Captain Henry stated, 'Listen motherfucker, what is this I been hearing about you telling people that I been cornering the market on overtime?' He then said that he would fuck me up and that this conversation is not the captain officer conversation, but a man to man conversation. He told me to consider myself lucky and that the next time it will be a captain to officer conversation....The captain was pointing with his finger in my face within close proximity, gesturing as if he wanted to fight me. I asked the captain to please stop talking to me in that tone. However he continued to move in my direction and follow me around the locker room."

The other officer, Louis Guerra, cut off Henry's rant. Guerra made his own formal statement to police officials. His statement confirms Hebron's testimony: "At one point Captain Henry called Officer Hebron a 'mother-fucker' and also said, 'I will fuck you up.'"

Guerra goes on to state:

"I got up off the couch and told the captain that he was out of line, and that he couldn't just turn his rank on and off like a light switch. I also told him that his demeanor did not represent his rank of the Metropolitan Police Department and that he should leave the locker room. After that he kept rambling on like a mad man and saying something like he did the best he could but that people did not appreciate him around here. He acted as if he was going thru some kind of break-down."

Although the incident is under investigation, Henry remains on duty. The investigation is being conducted by Henry's boss within SOD.

The police union has lobbied police officials that Henry should be removed from SOD and be required to undergo a psych review. "I have no comments," Henry tells City Desk when asked about the incident.

"If this were you, and I pulled up on the scene, you would be arrested. This should be a criminal investigation," says one officer in SOD.

The police union had e-mailed one police official, Alfred Durham,  several times concerning the incident. Durham told the union that Henry would not be sent for a psych evaluation. "If that was any police officer, he would be sent to a clinic ASAP," says the SOD officer.

Henry is currently in charge of the department's SWAT team.

"It's stunning that the department would leave him in that position," says union chief Kristopher Baumann. "It's certainly cause for alarm both for police officers and the citizens of the District of Columbia."

*photo by Darrow Montgomery.

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  • Lee

    This goes to the double standard that is applied inside MPD regarding discipline or allegations of misconduct. Chief Lanier vilified Detective Baylor, took his police powers and publically prejuged the investigation by saying Detective Baylor's conduct inapproprate; yet when a senior member of MPD commits a crime in the presence of witnesses the chief and buddy Al Durham close ranks and protect him. IAD is investigating Detective Baylor for the snowball incident, but Burt Henry's Commander and friend James Carne is being allowed to do this investigation. Lanier has no integrity!

  • Former Staffer

    One more reason we put our faith in the DCPD. Way to go Lanier.

  • JayAre

    Jury Duty 100- to be excused from Jury Duty, just tell the JUDGE that you can not trust the police. Citizens want other citizens to snitch on people, but the police will tell the criminals who is supplying information.

  • Mr Ends

    Fire them both. Knucklehead cops are a dime a dozen. It's not like you need to find smart people for the uniform. They will take nearly anyone.

  • Tom

    I dont see the big deal, a guy got upset and yelling took place, deal with it. Psych eval? He was pissed off, the end. He should get some kind of coaching but this is hardly a major issue

  • Captain Crazy

    A police captain rambling like a mad man and telling a subordinate he's gong to F-- him up is not a big deal? Is that someone you feel is fit to carry a gun in your neighborhood?

  • Typical DC BS

    Tom is absolutely right. No wonder DC denizens have no clue how the real world works.

    I'm sure the captain is several levels above Officer HebronMoron. I'm positive if I mouthed off about the managing partner at my firm and the way he conducts business, I'd be in danger of a giant ass-chewing, if not some sort of suspension or firing, depending on his / her mood that day. Guess what, he'd probably be cursing at me too?

    Grow up, DC idiots.

  • http://c Marine

    Tom : Come on. If a police officer cursed you out on the street and said he was going to "fuck you up," the officer would be toast. This is a common practice at the unprofessional organization know as the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department. What professional organization do you know of, where managers tell subordinates "I'm gonna fuck you up" when the manager is mad at the subordinate? Tom, you must be a manager on the MPD. This is why Home Rule will never work in DC. The place is too screwed up.

  • Tom

    LOL, I don't agree with this being a big deal and you then go and try to insult me! That's pretty ironic! Geez people stop acting like children, the man yelled and cursed at a co-worker, I insure you the world is not going to end. Like I said the captain deserves a coaching (paid suspension, community service duty, one more and full suspension policy etc).

    In response to your question, if a cop told me he would F*** me up, I would report him. He would then have to apologize and probably take some type of suspension. If he actually did f*** me up, then I would probably sue DC. But I am a private citizen and not a co-worker where there are internal procedures to handling such things. As a private citizen there are courts of law.

  • kenny

    i work for mpd and my boss does the same,no big deal.he must have a bad home life

  • tired

    okay Kenny since you work for MPD and your supervisor does that does it make it right this captain needs a psych. exam pure and simple.

  • dcblackdaddy

    I curse stupid fucking employees,dumb servers,crooked politicians and lying preachers in Dc all the time. Them motherfuckers usually deserve more rants but I do not want them to shit thier pants again.