PRESS RELEASE: Family Of D’Quan Young To Hold Vigil And Demand Answers

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

Media Contacts:

Natacia Knapper

Valerie Wexler

Family Of D’Quan Young To Hold Vigil And Demand Answers

One year after D’Quan Young was killed by an off-duty police officer Young’s friends and family will honor him and demand police accountability

Washington DC -- On May 9th, 2019 D’Quan Young's family, friends, and community will gather at Brentwood Recreation Center to mark the one-year anniversary of his death. Young's family still does not know the name of the off-duty DC police officer who shot and killed him in Northeast DC the evening of May 9, 2018.

Young was gunned down outside Brentwood Recreation Center, the same place where Young played football with his daughter and younger cousins. At 6:30 PM, exactly one year later, community members will hold a vigil to celebrate Young’s life, grieve his death and demand answers from their government.

Young left behind his four-year-old daughter, his grandmother Phyllis Young, his aunt Michelle Young, his mother Catherine Young and father Don Davis. Together with friends, neighbors and local organizers they intend to send a message to the DC Council, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and Mayor Muriel Bowser: The community has not forgotten about the death of yet another DC resident at the hands of an MPD officer and we will not stop demanding justice.

Despite witness reports that the unknown officer "shot wildly" while chasing Young down a community street, the family and public have been given no information about the investigation into what happened that night, not even the name of the officer or if he is still on active duty or paid leave. It is difficult to imagine any other instance in which the family of a homicide victim would be kept in the dark, not allowed to know the name of the man who killed their son, their brother, their father.

"It's been 365 days since the passing of my son and I've yet to get one answer about what led to his shooting" said Cathy Young, who was detained and questioned for hours by police and prevented from seeing her son as he was dying in a hospital miles away.

Homicides have continued to rise in DC but Brentwood residents now know they cannot look to their police department to keep them safe. Instead, they are forced to wonder every day if one of the officers in uniform patrolling their their local streets is the same man who killed their neighbor and friend.

Stop Police Terror Project DC (SPTP-DC) joins the Young family in calling for answers to the following questions:

  • Who shot D’Quan Young and why has his name not yet been released?

  • Was the officer given a blood alcohol test or screened tested for any illegal substances?

  • Did the officer try to render aid to D’Quan Young after shooting him?

  • Why did an off-duty officer draw his weapon and why did he consider deadly force necessary instead of de-escalation?

  • Why did the supervisor called to the scene immediately after the shooting fail to initially inform his superiors that a police officer had been involved in a shooting, and why did that sergeant remove the officer from the scene so he could not be immediately questioned?  

  • Why has no footage from security cameras in the surrounding area been released?

  • Why, after a year, have the public and the press been given no status updates on the state of the investigation into the officer’s conduct?

  • Is the officer who killed D’Quan Young still on the streets with a badge and a gun?

Along with a full and transparent investigation to answer the above questions, we demand that:

  • The MPD immediately release the surveillance video they claimed on May 15, 2018 to have obtained.

  • The DC Council immediately demand that the MPD provide a publicly available report on the current status of the investigation including the name of the MPD officer who killed D’Quan Young whether the officer is still on duty, whether the officer has been accused of previous misconduct, and what specific steps are being taken to investigate the officer’s conduct. And if the report is not provided in a reasonable amount of time that the Council institute penalties including withdrawal of funds and fines.

  • DC Attorney General Karl Racine immediately open an investigation into the killing of D’Quan Young.

  • DC councilmembers introduce legislation that institutes clear regulations on police accountability, transparency and discipline including (but not limited to) requirements that the names of all officers involved in violent incidents, police-involved shootings, deaths in custody, or misconduct be released to the public within 24 hours, that investigations into misconduct are conducted by an independent review board with disciplinary authority, and that the Council and public get regular updates on investigations.

  • DC councilmembers introduce legislation that bans the practice of stop and frisk, which only terrorizes communities and does not keep them safe.

Who: The family of D’Quan Young supported by Stop Police Terror Project DC (SPTP-DC) and their organizational partners.

What: A vigil in honor of the one-year anniversary of the death of D'Quan Young. Young's family, friends and community will celebrate his life and demand justice for his death. Speakers will include Beverly Smith, mother of Alonzo Smith, SPTP-DC core organizer Sean Blackmon, Ward 5 Roving Leader Ricardo Duren, and Jason Mohamed on behalf of Don Davis.  

When: Thursday, May 9 at 6:30 PM. Speakers will start at 7 PM

Where: Brentwood Recreation Center (2311 14th St NE, Washington, DC 20018)

Why: D’Quan Young, a Black man, was shot and killed by an off-duty DC police officer on May 9, 2018. Despite the continued efforts of the family (including weekly calls to the DC Metropolitan Police Department, requesting official records, testifying in front of the DC Council, and meeting with council members), Young's loved ones still do not know why he was killed, the name of the officer who killed him, or if the officer is still on active duty in their community.

Stop Cop Terror