Washington D.C. police officer, Reggie Jones, a six year veteran was arrested and charged with felony murder for his part in an armed robbery in South East D.C..
D.C. Police Chief, Cathy Lanier, pulled no punches during the press release when she said that Jones had “desecrated the very office he had sworn to uphold”. Apparently Jones had teamed up with a criminal gang headed by convicted murderer, Arvel Alston, who was himself on parole for a murder he had committed during an armed robbery 17 years earlier.
Alston had brought his son into the “family business”, not that he would have known much about him since the young guy was born six months after Alston was jailed on the murder charge. Jones, who was said to be having financial difficulties, was on duty and in plain clothes but driving a marked cruiser with flashing lights.
Jones’ supervisor was to later say that he didn’t see Jones that night, but figured he was busy doing paperwork. Jones was assigned to a special narcotics unit. It later transpired that Jones took out a marked police cruiser as he was to act as “look-out” for the others and to scare off any rival drug dealers.
It would seem that Jones’ financial decisions were not the only bad choices he made. Along with “desecrating his office”, he also joined up with the gang “who couldn’t shoot straight”. During the armed robbery of the suspected drug dealer, Alston’s son pulled his gun and accidently shot his own father, who died on the scene.
One wonders if Reggie Jones is an exception to the rule, or has corruption seeped back into the Metro D.C. Police Department as it had in the late 80′s and early 90′s. Back then, in an effort to appease Congress, the police department lowered their hiring standards and recruited drug dealers, rapists and murderers. Many of these were brought on as Police cadets and graduated as Police Officers.
Perhaps an overhaul of the Department is now appropriate. It would definitely appear that proper supervision is not taking place. If it was, somebody would have wondered why a plain clothes undercover cop was signing out a marked cruiser. Big white cars with “POLICE” written all over it and red and blue lights that continually flash are not ideal undercover cars.
Maybe there is a lack of supervisors…maybe there have been cut backs or they are understaffed due to retirements, but the fundamentals still need to be followed. This type of behavior may be perfectly “normal” in Mexico, but it should be stamped out before policing in the Nation’s Capital becomes the laughing stock that it was in the nineties.