Protesters say police refused to arrest a Maryland man for striking multiple demonstrators with his car Friday night and did not collect witness statements from at least two of the victims.
Police dispute the protesters’ account. Chief Lanier said the demonstrators have become “increasingly confrontational and violent toward uninvolved bystanders and motorists.”
About 50 protesters marched to police headquarters in Northwest on Monday waving a police report they said supports their account of the incidents.
They were met by roughly 30 police officers, who guarded the entrance to police headquarters as protesters shouted that they were not armed and they were only demanding their right to freedom of speech.
“Show me what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like,” the protesters chanted above their accompanying drumbeats and the rumble of police motorcycles.
Ohio resident Heidi Sippel, who said she was injured on Friday, asked officers, “Is there someone who can answer my questions,” before she, her family and attorney were allowed inside to give their official statements.
The demonstrators who remained outside for the 90-minute confrontation held signs with messages such as “Don’t be too hard on the cops: They’re 1 layoff away from joining us” and “hit + run is not an accident.”
When Ms. Sippel returned outside, she told the crowd that the investigation into the weekend’s incident was still open and that “everybody was friendly” inside the department.
The small crowed applauded when it heard the news that police had opened the investigation into what happened on Friday. The protesters left police headquarters and marched toward City Hall.
“They’ve been respectful of us,” said Occupy D.C. protester Sam Jewler. “They’ve escorted us on marches and we appreciate all they’ve done. What’s violent about this?”
• This article is based in part on wire service reports.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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