D.C. police officer Kenneth Furr was recently arrested having shot transgender citizens in a drunken rage. It now appears that the D.C. Metropolitan Police was aware of prior alcohol-related incidents by Furr. We previously followed a detective who brandished his gun to threaten people who hit his private Hummer with a snowball. In that incident, Assistant Chief Peter Newsham told the media that the gun in his hand (and clearly shown on videotape) was really just a cellphone.
The latest scandal in the MPD occurred when Furr crashed his Cadillac into another vehicle last Friday. Furr, a 20-year-veteran, then reportedly jumped on the hood of the victims’ car and shouted, “I’m gonna kill all of you.” He then allegedly proceed to shoot one person multiple times and hurt two others in the attack. He registered a 0.15 on a breathalyzer and has been charged with DWI and assault with a deadly weapon.
Prosecutors say that Furr first got into an argument with transgendered people around 4:40 am outside of a CVS pharmacy. He reportedly pulled a gun at that time. While one of the people reported the incident to an off-duty D.C. police officer working security, that officer determined that the culprit was “off-duty officer, and therefore no further action was necessary.” The victims then followed Furr in his Cadillac and the confrontation occurred.
Police on the scene found Furr still standing on the hood of the car of the victims after firing five times.
Now it turns out that Furr was previously arrested in 2004 for drunk driving, but was only suspended for 30-90 days. Then on Christmas Day 1996, Furr and another officer were disciplined for getting into a drunken argument with a mother and son. The MPD tried to have him fired but he was reinstated in 1998 after a change in police chiefs. In 1998, Chief Charles H. Ramsey took office and apparently Furr was reinstated.
What I find most interesting is the absence of any discussion of the failure of the off-duty officer who was first told of Furr’s dangerous conduct. I was unaware that once you determine a gun-wielding maniac is an “off-duty officer . . . no further action [is] necessary.” This unnamed officer was told of a fellow officer who was threatening transgender citizens with his firearm and did not call police or seek to hold the officer. The result is that the citizens took it upon themselves to follow Furr. While the security officer was off-duty as a police officer, off-duty officers are expected to take steps to protect the public. There is no mention of this officer receiving even a reprimand over the incident.
As for the detective who brought a gun to a snowball fight, one would think that he would be fired. However, after refusing to release his name or arrest, MPD ultimately imposed a ten-day suspension. That is it. His name is Michael Baylor and he is still patrolling the streets. No actions was taken against Assistant Chief Peter Newsham for his denials of any gun — until the MPD was confronted with clear video evidence of a gun-waving Baylor. What is also unclear is how people like Newsham would put out the false story about the cellphone unless Baylor had failed to tell the truth from the beginning about brandishing the weapon or the MPD was not interested in his account before denying the allegations of multiple witnesses. Yet, such an incident warrants only a ten-day suspension for a MPD police officer.
[For full disclosure, both Newsham and Ramsey are defendants in the World Bank case where I served as co-lead counsel for the Plaintiffs]
Source: Washington Examiner