CRIME

Attorneys consider class action lawsuit vs. MPD over alleged pattern of abuse

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Allegations of widespread abuse and discrimination has the D.C. police department on the defensive tonight.

An attorney says he is teaming up with victims and their families to begin what he believes will end in a class action lawsuit against the MPD.

Attorneys brought in families of young black men, arguing they are routinely stopped and frisked, without cause.

"He asked me could he search me and I said no…so they searched me anyway…" says Jubri Richardson, 17.

Chauncey Maddux said truant officers broke his hand putting him in cuffs, refusing to believe him or his father's telling them he was out of school.

Asked about dropping crime rates in the city, the attorneys said it's no excuse for abuse.

"The police it appears are using heavier handed tactics in certain areas," says attorney Malik Shabazz.

The parents of 34-year-old Cleman Sweptson was killed by police last April, after they said he pulled a gun while riding a bike.

His parents say Sweptson didn't have a gun.

The lawyers say D.C. police won't identify the officer involved and they're having to sue to get information that used to be forthcoming.

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