- The Washington Times
Thursday, November 17, 2022

A former Metro Transit Police officer was found guilty Wednesday of a civil rights violation for beating an unarmed civilian with a metal baton, considered a use of excessive force, four years ago.

On Feb. 16, 2018, a man named in court documents as “D.C.” tried to go through the fare gate at the Anacostia Metrorail station with an invalid SmarTrip card.

“D.C.” became agitated after the card was confiscated, and complained to former Metro Transit Police officer Andra Vance about the situation.

Vance then struck the victim in the head with a metal baton and chased “D.C.” as he fled the station, continuing to strike him about the head and neck.

When the victim fell, Vance climbed on top of him and placed the baton against his neck.

A fellow officer helped handcuff the victim, but another officer who witnessed the events “testified that D.C. was not a threat to Vance or anyone else at the Anacostia Metro station,” according to the Justice Department. 

Vance was convicted Wednesday of depriving the victim’s rights by beating him but was acquitted on a second count for the choking after “D.C.” fell down.

“People in the District of Columbia have the right to be free from excessive force at the hands of law enforcement, and that includes transit officers working for the D.C. Metro,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke in the Justice Department’s announcement.

U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves said in the announcement, “When officers violate the civil rights of District citizens through unreasonable and unjustified violence, we will hold them accountable.”

Vance is slated to be sentenced on March 10. He faces up to 10 years in prison as well as a fine of up to $250,000.

• Brad Matthews can be reached at bmatthews@washingtontimes.com.

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