On June 2, 5, and 13, 2017, Officer Vincent L. Altiere, Badge #4440, of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), was seen in the DC community wearing an offensive, racist, and threatening t-shirt. The shirt displays a well-known and notorious white supremacist symbol commonly used by the KKK and white supremacist groups, the image of the Grim Reaper holding an assault rifle and an MPD badge over the words “Seventh District,” and the phrase “Let me see that waistband jo,” a reference to illegal and abusive “jump outs.”
White supremacy and insinuated threats of death should never be associated with or tolerated in police departments. Such ideologies are dangerous. They are at the root of rampant police abuse and result in the unconstitutional terrorizing of Black and Brown communities and the callous murder of Black and Brown men and women, both in DC and across the country.
This shirt and its blatant display strongly suggest a culture of dangerous racist ideologies within MPD that go far beyond this one Officer. Such officers threaten public safety, terrorize and abuse District residents under color of law, and erode public trust in the MPD.
The Internal Affairs Division and the Office of Police Complaints have an obligation to investigate not only this Officer, but all Officers like him.
DC4D stands with Law for Black Lives DC, which has filed formal complaints regarding Officer Altiere’s actions with the Office of Police Complaints and the Internal Affairs Division of the Metropolitan Police Department – but they won’t fix things unless the public demands it.
Here’s what you can do to help:
1. Sign and share the Color of Change petition to protect DC residents from police terror and demand that MPD immediately:
- TERMINATE Officer Altiere;
- INVESTIGATE all other Officers who created, own, display, or wear this shirt and others like it; and
- TAKE SUBSTANTIAL, TRANSPARENT, AND PROACTIVE STEPS to rid MPD of racist Officers and the culture of impunity that allowed this Officer to feel secure wearing this offensive shirt into court.
2. Get involved with the Movement for Black Lives in DC to find out how you can join the effort to combat racism, white supremacy, and police terror.
3. Join DC4D’s Criminal Justice Reform Issue Group to help DC4D stay coordinated and concentrated on important issues of criminal justice reform in our community. If you’re interested, please contact Zach Schalk at ZachSchalk@gmail.com and you will be connected with the group.