File a Citizen Complaint
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is committed to providing professional, high-quality services to all; the MPD does not tolerate misconduct or wrongdoing on the part of its members. If you believe you have been subjected to, or witnessed, police misconduct of any type, the MPD encourages you to report the incident to either the MPD's Internal Affairs Bureau or the Office of Police Complaints (OPC). There are many convenient ways for you to file complaints, including in-person, over the telephone, or via mail, email or fax.
Things to Remember When Making a Complaint
Whether filing a complaint with the MPD or OPC, the following information is very important when describing the event:
- The day, date, time, and location of the incident.
- The officer’s name, badge number, and description.
- Witnesses’ names, addresses, and phone numbers.
- License numbers for any vehicles involved in the incident.
- Any other evidence you feel may be important, such as copies of traffic tickets, police reports, photographs, and medical records. If you have injuries, include their nature and extent.
- It is vitally important that you file your complaint as soon as possible so that photographs can be taken and medical records can be obtained quickly.
Please note that every person who wants to file a complaint with OPC must submit a completed, signed complaint form within 45 days of the underlying incident. You can file a report with the MPDC anytime.
- Is a District of Columbia Government agency that is independent of the MPDC and has its own investigative staff.
- Gives individuals a choice to have police misconduct complaints investigated by an agency other than the MPDC.
- Has authority to investigate complaints filed within 45 days of the underlying incident, and that allege harassment; use of unnecessary or excessive force; use of language or conduct that is insulting, demeaning, or humiliating; discriminatory treatment; retaliation for filing a complaint with OPC; or failure to wear required identification or refusal to provide name and badge number when requested to do so by a member of the public.
- Investigates complaints against its members through the MPD Internal Affairs Division and chain-of-command officials.
- Investigates complaints filed at anytime alleging any type of misconduct, including misconduct that can be investigated by OPC.
- Investigates anonymous complaints.