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D.C. Officer Serving as Lookout Charged with Murder

D.C. Officer Serving as Lookout Charged with Murder

The Washington Post via YellowBrix

December 16, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – A D.C. police officer was arrested Tuesday and charged with felony murder in connection with a fatal shooting about two weeks ago in Southeast Washington, police officials said.

In a case that appeared to be without recent precedent, police said Reginald Jones, who has been a member of the force for six years, was arrested in the death of Arvel S. Alston, 40.

Police said Jones “basically served as a lookout” and did not shoot Alston, who was killed in the 4300 block of Fourth Street on Dec. 1. A police source said Alston had been attempting a robbery that went awry.

Jones was on duty at the time and was at the scene in a patrol car assigned to the gun-recovery unit that he works for, a police source said. He fled when shots were fired, the source said.

Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier called Jones, 40, “a disgrace to the uniform.”

“We will not allow this department to be judged by one bad apple,” she said in brief remarks during a news conference at police headquarters.

Related video: The Chief’s press conference

Rather, she said, “we should be judged on how we handled that bad apple.”

Alston and at least one other man were to carry out the robbery, according to police sources. However, the sources said, the intended victim resisted, and in the ensuing moments, Alston was fatally shot.

Three police sources said the shot that killed Alston was fired by his son.

In addition to Jones, two other men have been arrested in Alston’s death, and police sources identified one of them — Arvel Crawford — as Alston’s son.

The charge of felony murder, which faces the officer, Alston’s son and the third suspect, may be brought when a death occurs during the commission of a serious felony. The death need not be intentional and may be accidental.

The intended victim of the robbery was wounded and taken to a hospital. The robbery victim’s name has not been released.

Lanier said Jones was related to at least one member of the group attempting the robbery. She declined to elaborate, citing the investigation.

In a news release issued the day after Alston’s death, police said a preliminary investigation of the case “revealed that this homicide may have occurred as a result of an armed carjacking.”

The initial account said that officers from the city’s 7th Police District were sent to the 4300 block of Fourth Street to investigate a report of a shooting in the Washington Highlands area.

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Video: The Chief on the Charges >>>

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