We Demand Justice in DC 

Muriel Bowser, Cathy Lanier Must GO!

Please sign the Peoples' Petition

     "Just take my word.,." and Damn What Makes Sense

      The actions of Cathy Lanier and the MPD in this matter raised more questions and provided no answers as to what happened to 8-yr old Relisha Rudd, did Khalil Tatum have the child, did he kill his wife, and then kill himself ????

      The MPD handling of the disappearance of Relisha Rudd and the subsequent deaths of Andrea and Khalil Tatum gives even greater urgency to the removal of Cathy Lanier as chief and a major federal investigation into the department. Cathy Lanier, through the echo chamber of the mainstream press, constantly put forth conjecture and wild speculation as fact, and seemed to deliberately engage in misinforming and misdirecting the public. Based on the gross missteps and totally unprofessional manner that Lanier and the MPD acted, it is not beyond reason to question whether those blunders were deliberate, with MPD officers having been found to involved in child pornography and teen prostitution. Since the arrest and "suicide" of one officer on the child pornography, and no arrest of the other for teen prostitution, Lanier has not mentioned a word on either matter accept to claim that it was  just a "few bad cops." How do we know?

    Cathy Lanier and the MPD put forth a story that Khalil Tatum had taken Relisha for an overnight with his granddaughter on February 26th and never returned her, with March 1st being the last time she was seen with Tatum. This is contradicted by a number of very hard facts, such as the fact that Relisha was seen in school on March 5th and 7th, and told her teacher and a social worker that she was staying with her grandmother. There is also the fact that Khalil Tatum continued reporting to work as usual up until March 20th, which was the last day that he was seen alive. There is no evidence that Khalil Tatum had any contact with Relisha on or after the 5th or 7th, so how did he immediately not only become a prime suspect, but was in fact declared the perpetrator not only in the disappearance of the child, but also in the execution of his wife? While at the same time Relisha's mother and grandmother are not treated as suspects, even though it was their clumsy attempt to hide the disappearance of Relisha that caused the school social worker to call the police. The same goes with the murder of Andrea Rudd, people who should have been treated as suspects in her killing, are treated as "witnesses" in support of the conclusion that Tatum killed his wife. 

   It appears that all of the scenarios put forward by Lanier and the MPD went to making neat ends, no need to investigate, for it is as simple as Tatum having kidnapped Relisha and "probably" murdering her. Cathy Lanier immediately began misinforming the public with a false claim that Tatum had gone to Relisha school pretending to be a doctor, and that was supposedly how he got her, but that simply never happened. It was the mother and grandmother that attempted to fool the social worker using Tatum's name and some unidentified man on a cell phone. Then Tatum, his wife, and three other people meet up in a hotel room in Maryland for some unknown reason on the night that the police began their investigation. Tatum then allegedly executed his wife after the other three people leave, with one returning to pick Tatum up and drop him off in DC, even though the Tatum's had two cars at the motel. Then, Khalil Tatum went to Kenilworth Park, climbed into a utility shed, and shot himself in the head, end of case, another neat end. And with that, the search for Relisha Rudd ended without a clue as to her whereabouts or her fate.

  Lanier misdirects and lies fake "Amber Alert" 

Lanier put out an alert that went no where, and Khalil Tatum was not on the run, but had been at work and home the first two days that he was the prime suspect. 

      In the meantime, photographs surfaced showing Relisha's father holding a wad of cash in his mouth and displaying a stack of $50 bills, with Relisha's mother also suddenly coming into possessing thousands of dollars shortly after Relisha's disappearance. Cathy Lanier and the MPD have yet to explain how the mother, grandmother, and the father were immediately excluded as suspects, and remain so. The father could very well could have been the male voice on the other end of the phone trying to fool the social worker into thinking he was a "Doctor Tatum." Lanier never confirmed that Tatum had any involvement or knowledge that his name was being used, while at the same time not giving any consideration to the fact that the mother and grandmother were the ones caught trying to conceal the fact that Relisha was not around. 

       Within less than 24-hours after the MPD gets involved in the matter on the 19th, Andrea Tatum is mysteriously murdered in a motel room before 5:00 in the morning of the 20th, supposedly by her husband. Yet, Khalil Tatum reported to work that morning and did not leave until later in the day, even though he was then the primary suspect in the disappearance of Relisha Rudd and the murder of his wife. At no point during this period did the MPD go to Tatum's home or his job, strange, since he was the prime suspect. However, Lanier and the MPD did not make any of this public until after Tatum left work, which was the last time that he was seen and may have been the day that he died. At no point has Lanier ever offered a motive for anything. Why would Tatum all of sudden kidnap Relisha, when he had been picking her up and taking her out to hang with his granddaughter? Why did Tatum allegedly kill his wife and then leave their cars at the scene of the crime? Why would Tatum register into a motel in his own name, kill his wife in the room, then go to work?



     A Troubling Timeline of Lies, Misdirection, and Misinformation         

      December 2013 - It is revealed that MPD officers are involved in the production of child pornograghy, preying on poor black children in D.C. The officer arrested for pornography, Marc Washington is found dead floating in the Potomac with bullet to the head the day after he posts bond, Lanier claims it a suicide. Not long after it is revealed that MPD officers are involved in teen prostitution, but no officer is arrested, their identities are withheld from the public, and nothing more is  revealed regarding an investigation and prosecution in either case.

     February 26th - According to Shamika Young, Relisha's mother, and Cathy Lanier, Young allowed Khalil Tatum to take Relisha for an overnight with his granddaughter and never brought her back, with Lanier stating that March 1st was the “last time Relisha was seen” with Tatum. 

    March 5th & 7th Relisha is reported as attrending school by her teacher, school social worker, and others. Relisha told her teacher and the social worker that she staying with her grandmother;

    March 13th When Relisha did not return after the 7th, the school social worker first Child & Family Services, then waits up to the 18th for a response, that does not come; 

     March 18th -  The social worker  called and talked with Shamika Young about Relisha missing school and was told by Young that Relisha had been sick and was under the care of a “Doctor Tatum,” the social worker demands proof:

    March 19th -  Marissa Young, Relisha's grandmother, shows up at the school with fake doctor papers and a phone number, school calls the number, a male tries to pass himself off as a "Doctor Tatum," the social worker calls the police. Khalil Tatum is at work at the shelter on that day and would report back for work the following day.

    March 20th - Some time before 5 a.m., Khalil Tatum allegedly executes his wife in a motel room in Oxon Hill, Maryland. A person who police claim was one of three other people who met with the Tatum's in that room earlier, reported that he left and returned hours later to find Andrea Tatum dead, with Khalil Tatum not allowing him into the room and having him to drive him to a metro station in the District and went on to work. Tatum then remained at work until quitting and then left, no MPD or FBI showed up at the shelter to question or arrest Tatum. The "Amber Alert" was released after Tatum left work, which was also the last time he would be seen alive.  

    March 21st – Cathy Lanier releases a video of Tatum with mission" Rudd in a motel, giving the impression that it was current and proved that in fact she was with him, when in fact the video was from the 26th of February. Lanier, with help from the FBI, began casting the public's attention to other parts of the country, giving the appearance that indeed Tatum had Relisha and was on the run with her, or because he had possibly killed her.

    March 24th – Cathy Lanier suddenly focused the search on Kenilworth Park, from a "rescue mission" to a "recovery operation," again giving the impression of legitimacy to the story about the black contractor bags.

     March 31st – A second sweep of the park turns up Khalil Tatum's rotting corpse, one of the officers on the scene said that he had been there for “some time” (11 days) Cathy Lanier informs the public beyond a certainty that Khalil committed suicide.

    April 3rd - Lanier ends search of Kenilworth Park with no clue as to what happened with Relisha Rudd, releases a video of young black man in the subway claiming that he is "a person of interest" in the disappearance of Relisha, but that turns out to be nothing.

    April 4th - Pictures are surfacing on the web showing Relisha's father flashing thousands in $50 bills, holding a wad in his mouth and fanning out thousands more, while at the same time it is discovered that both Shamika Young and Marissa Young also suddenly came into possession of several thousand dollars following Relisha's disappearance.

     Why was Khalil Tatum not only made the only suspect in the matter, but was in fact portrayed as the perpetrator, and as some sort of psychopath when he had no history of any of the behavior alleged? 

    Who killed Andrea Tatum? How did Cathy Lanier conclude that Khalil Tatum had kidnapped Relisha, murdered his wife, then killed himself? 

    How did Cathy Lanier exclude the mother, grandmother, and father as suspects in the disappearance of the child? 

    On what basis were the other three people associated with the murder of Andrea Tatum excluded as suspect and made "witnesses"? 

   What sense does it make for Tatum to have killed his wife, left three supposed "witnesses" and the family cars, then take the train into work after supposedly being discovered as the kidnapper and murderer?

    How was it that the MPD and FBI never made contact with either Khalil or Andrea Tatum on the 19th or 20th at the homes or jobs? 

   Why did Khalil Tatum continue with his normal routine up until the day he disappeared on March 20th, if indeed he had kidnapped Relisha weeks before and then killed his wife? 

But please, don't just take our word on these things, unlike Cathy Lanier and the MPD, we actually investigate and know how to:

;This from “Rolling Out” 3/29/14 edition:   “During the time period that Relisha Rudd was missing, Young told a stunning lie. Relisha’s school wanted to know where she was, because she’d missed too many school days. Young allegedly told the school that her daughter was sick and under the care of a physician. That’s when Relisha’s grandmother, Melissa Young, came to the school and presented a piece of paper with the name “Dr. Tatum” and a phone number. Young explained that her granddaughter suffered from intense headaches and seizures.  When the school called the number, a man whom they assumed was Tatum answered. The caller pretended to be a doctor and the school wanted written proof of Relisha’s treatment. In response, he told the school administrator to drop off the form at the “DC General Shelter.” The school official realized something was wrong and called the police“

    However that call was not made until the 19th of March, and the police investigation, and then there is this from News4 – 3/24:   “ A source close to the internal investigation into district agencies interaction with Relisha Rudd and her family told News4 school officials have determined the girl was in class on March 5 and was seen by a teacher March 7. That teacher, according to the source, said Relisha said she had been ill and staying with her grandmother. Rudd was not in class on March 7, but was on school grounds, sources told News4”.

This from Fox 5 

  From the Washington Examiner:

     90-plus arrests of D.C. cops in under 4 years


Photo - More than 90 D.C. police officers have been arrested in the past three and a half years. (Examiner file photo)

In the past three and a half years, more than 90 D.C. police officers -- from detectives to captains to the rank-and-file cops on the street -- have been arrested, a Washington Examiner analysis of police data has revealed. Metropolitan Police Department officers have been nabbed within the District and as far away as Florida. They've been arrested on charges ranging from to child pornography to murder. The majority are DUI and domestic violence arrests, though some cases stand out.

-- Detective Richmond Phillips was arrested in June 2011 in Prince George's County and accused of killing his girlfriend and their 1-year-old daughter.


  The number of

      D.C. police

 officers arrested:

       2009: 26

       2010: 17

       2011: 29

       2012: 19

    (year to date)

-- A month later, Officer Larry Seay was indictedon nine counts involving alleged sexual abuse of three women.

-- Last weekend, Capt. Lamar West was charged with assault after he allegedly choked his wife in the backseat of an SUV before being subdued by another passenger.

By contrast, Philadelphia -- a city whose police force dwarfs Washington's, with 6,600 sworn officers to D.C.'s 3,800 -- saw just six officers arrested this year as of July, according to statistics from the Philadelphia Police Department. D.C. has seen 19 officers arrested this year. Only 18 officers were arrested in Philadelphia in 2011, compared with 29 in D.C.

"My impression is that the Washington numbers are just unprecedented," said Samuel Walker, a professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and an expert on police accountability. "The other occasions when you've had large numbers of arrests are a major corruption scandal. Those are sort of clustered when you get a major scandal. Washington appears to be different on that score."

MPD representatives say they can't speak for other departments, but D.C. police officers are required to report themselves to the department if they've been arrested off-duty -- when the majority of arrests occur, police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said.

D.C. police have launched several internal education campaigns designed to deter cops from alcoholism and domestic violence, but some say that's not enough.

Kris Baumann, the head of D.C.'s Fraternal Order of Police chapter, says rank-and-file officers are embarrassed by the large numbers of arrests in their department and want the MPD to reinstitute its Police Officer Standards and Training Board -- which, they allege in a lawsuit, has not operated since 2007. Crump declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Last week, the MPD also disbanded its unit that investigates officer-involved shootings, saying it was no longer necessary and seven of its officers and all of its caseload will be folded into the Bureau of Internal Affairs.

In contrast, a Philadelphia police spokesman said Friday that Philadelphia's department has added 50 personnel to its Internal Affairs Division to investigate wrongdoing by cops.

Baumann says his union isn't interested in defending officers accused of crimes and has pushed the D.C. Council to institute better hiring standards in the department. He slammed what he alleged is a departmental culture by which officers aren't held accountable for wrongdoing.

"The public should be shocked and the city should be ashamed," he said. "These are not just a bunch of DUI arrests -- not that those are acceptable. These are guilty pleas or convictions on serious, serious felonies. I hope this is finally a wake-up call .



 Mayor Vincent Gray,

     We the undersigned residents of the District of Columbia and concerned citizens from across this nation call for the immediate resignation or termination of Cathy Lanier as chief of police for the Metropolitan Police Department. In addition to the overall increase in police misconduct, the hiring of even more white officers with no connection to black communities, the greater hostility and disrespect, there is the fact that she is orchestrating a criminal cover-up of a homicide by one of her subordinates or a group of them. We are not clear as to how many officers were involved in the actual killing of Clemant Sweptson or much of anything more surrounding his death, because Kathy Lanier has taken upon herself to decide that the family, the community, nor the general public is entitled to any accountability. And frankly, we are concerned about your silence and that of the City Council on this matter, especially Councilman Barry.

    We will not repeat here what we have said to Ms. Lanier, we attach a copy of the letter, and if she refuses to resign immediately, then we demand that you fire her and refer the matter to the Department of Justice.

Sincerely, We the Undersigned Voters

 Mr. Ronald Machem, United States Attorney for the District of Columbia

     We the undersigned residents of the District of Columbia and purported “citizens” of the United States who pay your salary, demand an immediate explanation from you as to your total failure to be involved in the alleged investigation of  the killing/homicide of Cleman Sweptson. We find this failure on the part of your to be a pattern of complicity in the cover-up of police wrong doing and crime. We demand that your office open a criminal investigation on the federal level since the Cathy Lanier has implicated herself in a cover-up of a murder by withholding all information from the family, community, and general public. As the chief prosecutor in this colony, you have a duty to ensure the confidence of the residents that there rights are respected and protected, your duty is to serve and protect. We do not feel protected or served by your office.

     We demand that you immediately open a public criminal investigation into the killing of Cleman Sweptson, including the ongoing efforts by Cathy Lanier and the MPD to cover it up. We will not repeat here what we have said to Ms. Lanier, we attach a copy of the letter, and advise that you do the same.

Sincerely, We the Undersigned so-called “Citizens”

  Sign the Peoples' Petition for Justice


Follow the link below to sign the online Peoples' Petition for Justice Now, demanding the immediate termination of D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier for conspiracy to conceal murder, along with an open Department of Justice criminal investigation by other than the U.S. Attorneys Office for the District of Columbia: 



                A Major Obstacle to Black Liberation

                            by Kwasi Seitu

    What follows is a true recital of developments in the Sweptson murder case since ITJ got involved directly with the family a month later. What the facts reveal is one major example of why Black People have a hard time responding to social injustices and therefore, continue to be subjected to them. This article is not written with any ill-will towards anyone, it is written to expose problems within our struggle that prevents us from moving forward to more realistic and effective responses to systemic oppression. In August 2013, ITJ suspended interactions with the family, who unfortunately were under the influence of "Black Lawyers for Justice," which consists of former "New Black Panther" leader Malik Zulu Shabazz and another attorney named Gregory Latimer. 

       The other night I was at a public forum and ran into this woman who I have always perceived as a snob, in spite her support for, involvement and identity with certain progressive struggles. Last night I learned that she is also a vicious gossip, as she accused me, in front of a group of people, of having tried to get the Sweptson family to pay me to be on the ITJ radio program "Waves of Resistance."  They had already been on the show at least twice and no one asked them for a dime.  I believe that police conducting drive-by assassinations in our community is a matter that concerns the whole, no different from the impact of a serial killer roaming the streets, it is not a problem owned by any individual or victimized family in the community. We feel for them, and will struggle together with them to get justice, but not just for them.  

       ITJ not only devoted airtime to publicizing this case, but produced the only printed and broadcast material on the matter, includ investigative journalistic support. I suggested and accompanied the mother of the victim to the morgue, so that she could obtain a copy of the autopsy report, a critical piece in putting together what really happened. Almost from the beginning the family was persuaded to “retain the services” of a group calling itself “Black Lawyers for Justice” (BLJ), which as best we can discern consists of two lawyers, Malik Zulu Shabazz, also head of the “New Black Panther Party,” and another brother. It appears from our interaction with the family and the BLJ representative, Iman Akbar. that the family is being advised to simply rely on the “Lawyers,” even though the matter has not blossomed, and is not being pursued as one in which lawyers play any role. Since the incident, the matter has been held exclusively in the hands of the police, and the “Lawyers” have done nothing to change that situation. As a result, the family knows no more than the general public, the government has in no way made any effort to account to the family or community, which the “Lawyers” seem very comfortable with. 

      The family and community need and are entitled to strong principled and strategic revolutionary advocacy, one that encourages and works toward building grassroots power/organization, that presses the system, not awaits its already decided decisions when it comes to us.  Nothing like this has been coming from the “Lawyers” in this case, they had done nothing other than perhaps have the family sign a retainer with them and sent their representative around to keep tabs. By time ITJ got involved, which was a few weeks after the incident, the “Lawyers” representative was not informed on the facts, he referred to the incident as one of only “excessive force” and spoke about the “Lawyers” pursuing some sort of  “personal injury” claim. In the meantime we went to the crime scene, taped it, talked with people in the community, got invaluable information that contradicts the claims of the police. It was ITJ that put them on the air, that wrote the story, that produced and disseminated material in various media to inform the public about the matter, that contacted city officials to get answers. And it has been ITJ that advised and urged the victims to stop being victims, and to be organizers, starting one step at a time. With their family, close friends, and neighbors.

      It now appears that the “Lawyers” have soured the waters between ITJ and the family, whereby the parents have ceased communicating with ITJ for no apparent reason other being told to by the “Lawyers.” In a discussion about this tonight with a colleague, because I have concluded that for now the matter is no longer worth ITJ’s limited resources, my “compassion” for the family was called into question. The decision has nothing to do with compassion or the lack of compassion, it is based on practical reality that the family is under some sort of spell of the “Lawyers,” in spite of recognizing that they have done nothing for them. Sadly, this is an example of how on a broader level, black people in America generally have a bad habit of clinging to those things that clearly means them no good, as long it shines or has something glittery on it. The same thing has happened in case after case like this one where knee-grow wanna’b leaders and “Lawyers” get involved, the real interest of the family and the People takes a back seat to the greater glory or personal gain of the knee-grows and “Lawyers.”

      The killing if this community member  remains an issue for ITJ, but one it can no longer bear the expense of pursuing when the family and thus the surrounding community, is under another influence that encourages the waste of our efforts. Outside of the families who suffer the loss of one their members, there is the community from which anyone can be targeted for the same thing, this means that the issue is one owned by the community and the people as a whole. ITJ has no more resources to expend on this matter as long as it is given over to “the Lawyers,” who have stooped to spreading lies about ITJ, and shown no interest in discussing any concerns or interest they may have with us. The fact is that Malik Zulu Shabazz, the “charismatic leader” doesn’t  want anything to happen that will upset his charisma with accountability, like, what the hell have you done in the case since you call yourself the “Lawyer” for the family;  which does not make you a “leader” in or of the community.

      I was not confused a second as to the source of nasty “rumor” that was being circulated to and through the gossiper who accusingly confronted me at the forum, it was more than evident that it came from Brother Shabazz and crew. Undeterred, Cathy Lanier, the chief of police appeared and for the family, community, and People it was my duty to approach and confront her about the matter. As a result, once again I did what the “Lawyers” have failed to do, now we know that Lanier and MPD Internal Affairs have definitely concluded that the shooting was justified and referred it to the U.S. Attorney to sign off on, yet has not informed the family or the public. Did the “Lawyers” know that? The autopsy report has not even been produced, with the death certificate saying death by “homicide,” how do you conclude a homicide investigation without an autopsy report? ITJ will ceased to take the lead in asking questions and pursuing answers in this matter, this will be left to the “Lawyers” who feel so territorial about the matter as to  not only engage in spreading lies about the conduct or character of ITJ, but encouraged the family not to participate in a broadcasted meeting dedicated to discussing the murder of their member. 

      One week after their “Supreme” court turned back the clock for black people by at least 50-years, we get a proceeding and verdict that turned the clock back even further, back to about 1875-1950. Like ants that have lost the scent of the lead ants, black people in America are scattered in search for clues and answers, marching here and there, not really clear as to why, for what, what it is that we then demand. We say “Justice for Trayvon,” but we still never got any “Justice for Emmitt,” or Mack Charles Parker, or Charquisa Johnson, or Duante Rawlings, or Artie Elliot, or Trey Joyner, or on and on, just as we will not get any justice for Cleman Sweptson. The police have always concluded that the action was justified, yet to date have not released their story in support, so good have been the “Lawyers” and what good are they?  They have failed to provide answers to the family and the community, they have provided nothing on which any mass action could be built because they are not there for that, they prefer for everyone to wait on them to decide what to do, while they apparently don’t have a clue or interest in doing anything that does not involve cameras taking pictures of them as “leaders.”  

     I did talk to the father about doing an on air community meeting, and I told him that because that would require a couple of hours of air time, we needed to be prepared to bring something to the table in exchange other than a sad story. Amazingly though, I found out from the good brothers running the radio station, that they would give an extra hour free for such an issue and effort, so there was not going to be the need to pay for extra airtime. Still, that does not mean that there was no need do fundraising, you cannot wage a successful campaign without fuel in the tank, this means becoming organized. U admit that I have tried to press the need for the family to work on building a core group around them in order to build and expand support, which requires the mustering and development of resources essential to wage any successful campaign. Keeping in mind the organized and combined forces massed against you, from the police to the press, as well as an entire oppressive system as a whole supported by a racist and ignorant society, which includes a good deal of your would-be supporters. 

     Once before ITJ encountered similar conduct on the part of Malik Zulu Shabazz in 2003, around the police killing of Charquisa Johnson, where after ITJ had already begun its investigation and produced a flyer on the incident, along came Shabazz. The next thing we discovered was that he had taken our flyer and put his name and that of Iman Akbar on it as if they produced it. In the flyer we called on the People to conduct our own investigation, form our own grand jury, hold our own trial. At the first demonstration Shabazz produces what he claims is "a Peoples' indictment," that only he and Iman Akbar were signatures to, which he grandly announced out of the blue and handed to a cop standing outside of the station. The "Peoples' Indictment" idea came from our call for the formation of a "Peoples' Tribunal,"  Shabazz then made no real effort to mobilize and organize the community. Again, ITJ backed away to let Shabazz and the "New Black Panthers" do something with the matter, we understood that it simply would not be possible to work with them and Shabazz. Amazingly, not long ago Shabazz approached me with a proposition for me to work under him, I am at least three decades his senior and a long time SoulJah in my people's struggle for liberation, I did not need to be under him. 

     At this point, ITJ is going to take a hands off position with regard to the family, but not necessarily to the case. The family retained Malik Zulu Shabazz, not the community, so let it be understood that that is all he speaks for, and does so only as a “Lawyer,” not a revolutionary. We are SoulJahs in Jah Army, we who are SoulJahs understand that we are here to bring or hasten the end of this demonic global system born of piracy, old pirates continue to hold and rob InI, because the Creator placed here to end it. We were all given a body and limbs, but most important a brain for thoughts to house a Soul. Their primary tool for control has been divide, conquer, and rule in perpetuity. We are not trying nlast on any one for anything less than principled unity, ITJ is fundamentality opposed to the pretense of unity, it must be based on agreed objectives and methods of reaching them, race is not enough. Talking “Black,” wearing the colors and all the other media-based prescriptions for “militant Black leadership” does not make you legit. We now await to see what you are going to do with this matter, you claim it, now “DO SOMETHING”!