'Stop Treating Us Like We're Savages': Men from Deanwood Video Give Their Perspective

June 28, 2018
Deanwood police search Joe Clair

Photo by Erin Thibeau

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By Erin Thibeau

A viral video of a recent stop-and-frisk in Deanwood has a community demanding an explanation from police.

After Tuesday's interview with MPD Chief Peter Newsham left Joe Clair with more questions than answers, he invited the men who recorded the video, as well as the advisory neighborhood commissioner who brought it to the public's attention, to tell their side of the story.

Related: MPD Chief Peter Newsham Responds to Deanwood Police Search Video (Listen)

In the video, plainclothes officers find a BB gun on a man outside Nook’s Barbershop who was a stranger to the group recording their search. While the man with the BB gun was allowed to drive away, officers demanded to search everyone present for weapons.  

"There was a suggestion that one of the guys there was an undercover police officer," Chief Newsham told Joe on Tuesday, "and we've determined that's not the case."

"I got emails from people who live in that community, and they welcome the fact that the police were up there," he continued.

Newsham was referencing a letter from Deanwood's Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Anthony Lorenzo Green, who accused D.C. police of planting a "jumpout" at the scene as an excuse to search the men hanging outside the barbershop.

Green told Joe on Thursday that he believes the chief is hiding stop-and-frisk data: "There are folks that wanna see the actual data, and he wants to cover up for dirty cops on his force who are in our community as roving gangs terrorizing black and brown folks."

Hermo, Vinny and Choc – some of the men on the scene who recorded the search – gave their perspective as residents of the community.

"We not gon' let y'all stop and frisk us, but they don't like that," Choc said. "We throw cookouts, we do school giveaways, and everything like that, but they don't show that side, but they say that we drink, we smoke, and all that." 

Listen to part one of the interview below:

A local real estate agent called in to say he believes police searches are meant to "clear out a certain element" so Deanwood can be an "up-and-coming area" like H Street.

Watch more video from the interview below:

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