- The Washington Times - Monday, November 30, 2020

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday that she believes outgoing Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham “did his job” to fight racism.

The mayor’s comment came in response to a question about statements made last week by D.C. Council members regarding the qualities they want in the next police leader.

Council member Charles Allen, Ward 6 Democrat and chairman of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, said Chief Newsham’s departure “is an opportunity to instill in leadership the qualities and priorities this moment demands: tackling the systemic racism that exists in our city and within policing culture.” The sentiment was echoed by at least three other lawmakers.

Asked if she agrees with the statement and whether Chief Newsham did his job to address system racism during his tenure, Miss Bowser said, “I do think he did his job.” She declined to discuss the statements made by city officials and also dodged several other questions about a replacement.

Chief Newsham’s departure came as a surprise to many when it was announced last week by the Prince William County Police Department, where he is set to take over in February. The 31-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department was appointed by Miss Bowser in 2017 to replace former Chief Cathy Lanier.

“Our conversations about the qualities for all of our departments are robust,” Miss Bowser said Monday. “The police department is special in some ways in that the members of the police department carry a badge and a gun and they have a responsibility to make sure our communities are safe and everybody’s rights are protected, and so that’s the mindset I went in for our last search and that’s what I will do moving forward.”

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