An indictment against a U.S. Capitol Police officer was unsealed Friday, according to the Justice Department.
The officer was charged with violating a man’s civil right, obstructing justice and falsifying records, when in 2020 he committed a hit-and-run, then fled the scene and lied about his involvement in the incident.
Officer Thomas Smith, 44, has been suspended without pay as the criminal case proceeds and an administrative investigation by the force’s Office of Professional Responsibility unfolds. His arraignment is scheduled for next week in Washington, D.C.
According to the DOJ’s release, in June of 2020, Smith was pursuing two motorcycles in a high-speed chase at about11:30 p.m. in the upscale Georgetown neighborhood of the nation’s capital. His cruiser collided with one of the motorcycles near Wisconsin Avenue and M Street NW.
Smith faces accusations of driving his police vehicle with reckless abandon and in a dangerous capacity, and crashing into the victim and injuring him. He is also accused of then driving away from the crash without rendering aid, alerting medical personnel or offering any other assistance to the victim.
After the incident, Smith allegedly falsified U.S. Capitol Police records to cover up his misconduct. Among other issues, the USCP prohibits police vehicle pursuits outside the Capitol grounds, except in emergency situations.
In a statement on Friday, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said: “The public’s trust is critical for any law enforcement agency and integrity is the most important quality for any law enforcement officer.”
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office with assistance by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
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