Lanier, Nickles Defend Actions of Police, Fenty at Fender-Bender
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier and Attorney General Peter Nickles are defending the actions of the D.C. Police Department regarding a fender-bender involving Mayor Adrian Fenty on Sunday night. Photographs and a roster of vehicle occupants were not taken at the scene, as required by department regulations, and the mayor's office's account of the accident differs from the official police report.
On Sunday the mayor's office released a statement saying that Fenty's Lincoln Navigator had been involved in an accident in which another vehicle ran a stop sign and pulled out in front of the mayor's vehicle, causing the collision. The police report said Fenty's SUV was the "striking vehicle" in the crash with a Nissan Pathfinder driven by 19-year-old James Utt Jr. Officer Brian Thompson, who is part of the mayor's security detail, "couldn't determine who was at fault" and did not issue traffic tickets.
Following the mayor's signing today of the Omnibus Crime bill, Lanier defended Fenty's actions and the actions of her department's officer.
"[Fenty] stayed on the scene. The [mayor's] children that were on the scene, were taken from the scene, but he stayed on the scene while the other driver didn't," Lanier said. "There are no procedures that were not followed. We thought that it was important to get the report taken and then file the supplemental report when we got the information."
"The important thing was to take the report, and it was taken, The photos were not taken because the other driver left the scene. The mayor stayed on the scene. He could have left because it was a minor fender-bender -- if this was anybody else, they could have exchange information and left the scene."
Nickles also downplayed the incident. "It is a nothing deal. This is not the Supreme Court Heller case involving guns. This is a minor fender-bender. The key thing is that nobody was injured, no one was hurt, and all procedures were followed."
August 6, 2009; 4:09 PM ET
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