Saturday, June 05, 2004

CITY COUNCIL: "The Bitch [Park Police] Set Me Up"

The Washington Post recounts WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi's live conversation with Marion Barry about the infamous former mayor's decision to drop out of the 2002 race for city council and his more recent indications about his intentions to mount a challenge against Sandy Allen for the Ward 8 city council seat.

In 2002, the U.S. Park Police found traces of marijuana and a few rocks of crack in his Jaguar which was parked at Buzzards Point in Southwest. In 1990, Barry was arrested at a downtown hotel and convicted of misdemeanor cocaine possession. It was from that incident where he uttered perhaps his most notable line: "... the bitch set me up."

The "bitch" Barry was referring to his former girlfriend Rasheeda Moore, who had lured him to the Vista Hotel, where the FBI caught him on tape taking two drags from a crack pipe. (Check out a full transcript of the incident, courtesy of A Dog's Life.)

Recalling the 2002 incident, Barry, 68, says the U.S. Park Police set him up. He says the Park Police had no reason to patrol Buzzards Point.

From the WAMU radio, via thePost: "The Park Service planted whatever they planted in my car," Barry continued on the radio program. "They were out in the District, never patrolled in the District before, but that is in the past."

The Park Police attempts to dispel Barry's claim in the Post. "The only thing that we have to say is that we stand behind our officers," said Lt. Michael Downs. "Twenty-two percent of the District is our primary jurisdiction, and in other parts of the District, we patrol concurrently with" the D.C. police. (The Park Police also has two marinas at Buzzards Point.)

A Much-Watched City Council Race Soon to Come? Usually, D.C. city council can be a bore to locals. A Barry race could attract some unexpected media attention to the race to represent Anacostia. Already this year, there was a bit of behind-the-scenes drama on the city council with Ward 1 Councilman Jim Graham openly considering a challenge against Harold Brazil for his at-large council seat. Graham decided not to go ahead with a challenge after many District power brokers feared that racial fractures tied to such a race could divide the city (Graham (D) is white, Brazil is the only black council member who holds a coveted at-large seat.)

But Brazil is not out of the hot seat. In fact, the pressure could be turned up on him as his re-election race continues. Brazil stands accused of using city workers to assist him in his private law practice.


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