When you hear the charge “assaulting a police officer,” you might assume that an officer has been hurt or injured while serving the community. But in Washington, D.C., you might not be able to take so-called APOs at face value.
Reporter Patrick Madden of WAMU found that the charge of assaulting a police officer, which is meant to shield police from danger, also can be used as a tactic against citizens.
Students at the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University and WAMU researched 2,000 cases to see where most APO charges go down in D.C. Check out the map they made to see where these arrests took place. Notice that concentrations occur in the central part of the urban area and in predominantly black neighborhoods in the Southeast.
Nine out of 10 people charged were African American, even though half of the district’s population is black.