PRESS RELEASE: Family of D’Quan Young Responds to Refusal to Prosecute His Killer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 5, 2019
Whitney Shepard (925) 998-1596
Valerie Wexler (703) 380-5997
D'Quan Young’s Family and Community Respond to Refusal to Prosecute His Killer
More than a year after Young’s death, his family still does not know the name of the off-duty MPD officer who killed him
Washington D.C. -- One year and two months after D’Quan Young was shot and killed by an off-duty Metropolitan Police Officer, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has refused to prosecute Young’s killer, or even release his name. Stop Police Terror Project DC (SPTP-DC) and Black Lives Matter DC join Young’s family in denouncing this decision for what it is: an unjust, dishonest mockery of justice.
D’Quan Young’s aunt, Michelle Young, responded to the decision: "This decision is typical and to be expected. To not release the footage, the police officer's name, or any other evidence... the U.S. Attorney's Office never intended to be transparent. The family has a right to see the evidence. If the police officer didn't do anything wrong, then why are they hiding the evidence?"
We join D’Quan Young's mother, Catherine Young, and her family in demanding that:
Mayor Muriel Bowser and Police Chief Peter Newsham release the name of the officer who shot and killed D’Quan Young;
All video footage and other evidence cited in the U.S. Attorney’s official statement be publicly released; and
An independent investigation be conducted into the death of D’Quan Young.
Accounts from community members, who reported that the unnamed off-duty officer "shot wildly" while chasing Young down a street, continue to differ greatly from the official narrative from MPD and U.S. Attorney's office. To date, his family and the public have been given no further information about the investigation into what happened that night. Rather, the U.S. Attorney's Office chose to announce its decision mere hours before a holiday weekend hoping that the public would not notice. But the Young family, the Brentwood community and organizers throughout D.C. are committed to making sure the District does not forget what happened to D'Quan and will continue to call for justice.
What Brentwood residents do know -- only because of persistent investigative reporting by local DC reporters -- is that the unnamed still anonymous officer is not only still at work, he is on active duty, forcing the community every day to wonder if one of the officers patrolling their streets is the same one who murdered their neighbor and friend.
The decision released from U.S. Attorney echoes almost word for word their statements on many other cases and has come to be what we expect from the D.C. government and justice system. As in the cases of Jeffrey Price, Marqueese Alston and so many more, not only the public but direct family members have been kept completely in the dark about how their loved ones died.
“The mounting negligence, unresponsiveness, and lack of transparency from our elected officials and police force in the District is an increasing concern of community safety,” said SPTP-DC organizer Whitney Shepard. “How can Black people in D.C. be asked to trust our Council and police, and the systems they represent, when they continue to prove time and time again that they are not here to represent us, to keep us safe, or take us seriously?"
D’Quan Young was a son, a father, a brother, and a beloved member of the community. His family and friends seek transparency and honesty but cannot put any trust in a process that leaves them completely in the dark. Young’s family and friends were denied justice this week but D.C. government officials can still protect the public and demand accountability by immediately releasing the name of the officer and ordering an independent investigation.
In previous cases, Mayor Bowser has released the names of officers who killed members of the D.C. community, and we demand she prove that she takes the principles of accountability and transparency seriously and do so again. It is a danger to the public to have this officer patrolling our community anonymously. We know from experience that an officer does not usually stop at one violent incident.
"This police officer knows the truth of what happened that night and it's going to follow him for the rest of his life,” said Michelle Young. “I just hope this doesn't happen to someone else with this officer going back on the streets."