A couple weeks ago Scott and I joined the National Capitol Area ACLU for a door-to-door outreach effort in Southeast D.C. warning citizens about a “knock and talk” program the DC Police Department threatened to implement.
This short video, which was my first behind-the-camera creation, tells the story:
I couldn’t have scripted this much better: At about 1:35 into the video, a woman mistakes us for the police and eagerly invites us in to search her home. It’s funny, but it proves our point about why this information is needed. (For all she knows, someone could have left some marijuana under her couch cushion for an officer to find and get her and her family kicked out of public housing.)
Responding to the unexpected public backlash generated through such community outreach, DC Police Chief Lanier recently announced that her so-called Safe Homes initiative would be scaled back. Under the new plan, police will not go door-to-door requesting consent. Citizens wishing to be searched must instead call the police and invite them into their homes.
In other words, the good guys won, and Chief Lanier was left to take the blame for her hare-brained initiative.
For a refresher on how to refuse home searches, watch this.