African American groups rip on brutality report

Each week The Sentinel visits a memorable story from its archives.

April 5, 1985

Two groups representing black policemen this week blasted Rockville’s official account of last summer’s fracas between two city officers and three Lincoln Park residents.

The Montgomery County NAACP asked the National Black Police Association (NBPA) and the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) to review a report of the incident written by Rockville Police Chief Jared Stout.

The reviews by the two groups criticized the reporting and investigative procedures used by city police.

Chief Stout said he had had not seen the reports and could not comment on them. He added that “if they’re interested in solving problems they ought to be talking to the people involved.”

The NAACP was “premature” in releasing its report said national NOBLE officer Ira Harris. He said his group’s report was sent to the NAACP for “information only” and was not intended for release at this time.

“We have not yet had a chance to sit down with the agency head and give them a chance to respond. We don’t want to see our intent misinterpreted,” Harris said.

Two white officers, John Converse and Alice Anselmo scuffled with black residents last July, while responding to an abandoned vehicle call. Anselmo, according to Stout’s summary report, slapped a handcuffed woman in the face, for which she received a 10-day suspension.

Converse was exonerated on all charges.

NBPA National Chairman Ronald Hampton called the investigation “shabby” and the report opinionated. The NOBLE report questioned the use of anonymous witnesses and suggested that the NAACP obtain a copy of the internal police investigator’s report.

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