The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) has filed a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Police Department alleging that the MPD and the Attorney General colluded with far-right groups in order to target anti-Trump protesters, Al Jazeera reported in February 2018. The lawsuit, which was filed in early February, seeks to access information between prosecutors, police, and far-right political groups, citing a doctored video provided by the extreme right wing organization Project Veritas used in the trial against six defendants facing time for their alleged participation in a rally against President Trump, all of whom were late acquitted.
“To date, despite multiple inquiries, the DC MPD is withholding and refusing to make public information that would shed light on the nature and extent of the relationship between the DC MPD, its officers, and private political non-governmental entities from whom it accepts information to be used against those entities’ political opponents,” the lawsuit states. The lawsuit says that the DC MPD “unlawfully” denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in November 2017 by simply refusing to acknowledge it. The lawsuit also states “The DC MPD and its officers have worked with and received information from private, politically motivated, right-wing organisations including Project Veritas and Oath Keepers to be used against the political opponents of those organisations.”
Though there is a long history of police departments working with white supremacists, Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director and constitutional rights lawyer at PCJF, says that this example of collusion between DC MPD and far-right groups supportive of the current administration and the following obstruction related to the FOIA request shows that ,”while there have always been members of police departments who have acted out in abusive and racist behaviour against the civilian population, we’re now seeing it at an institutional level.”
This article which highlights possible use of police resources to further the administration’s and police department’s political agendas against anti-racist, anti-fascist activists was not covered by a single establishment media organization. The only reporting done on this story was by international media outlets, Al Jazeera and the Guardian.
Source: Patrick Strickland, “Lawsuit Accuses DC Police of Collusion with Far Right,” Al Jazeera, February 19, 2018, www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/02/lawsuit-accuses-dc-police-collusion-180215202206401.html.
Student Researcher: Whitney Howard (College of Marin)
Faculty Advisor: Susan Rahman (College of Marin)