No Charges for Dwight Harris
It's a reversal of fortune. Dwight Harris was once scheduled to face a judge tomorrow morning for resisting arrest and drinking in public. But after video of two transit cops slamming the wheelchair-bound man to the ground outside the U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo Metro stop surfaced last month, all charges have been dropped, according to court records.
In fact, now it's the cops who arrested Harris who are in trouble.
The U.S. Attorney's Office has been investigating them, and Harris is planning to sue. Ann Marie Staudenmaier, an attorney with The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless who's "assisting" Harris, happened to be there (her office is located next to the Metro stop) a few moments after Harris was arrested. He lay bleeding on the sidewalk. She tried to help, telling cops they needed to do things like pick Harris up off the ground. "They just threatened to arrest me," she says.
Now that Harris is planning to file a lawsuit against Metro, she's hoping to help in a different way—by aiding him in his search for a good civil attorney. She hopes the task will be done by the end of the week. "They just stood there while he was bleeding," Staudenmaier says of transit cops. The officers have been placed on administrative leave. Metro won't comment on the altercation since the U.S. Attorney's "review of the matter remains ongoing."
Photo by man pikin Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0