Data from ACLU visits to ten police stations and substations in the District of Columbia show the public faces many barriers in learning how to file complaints, according to ACLU testimony February 24, 2014, by Law Fellow John Albanes to the D.C. Council. Officers at a majority of the stations failed even to mention the independent Office of Police Complaints as one of two ways of filing a complaint. Some officers were openly hostile to ACLU visitors inquiring about the complaint process, for example, incorrectly suggesting an officer would have to "interrogate" a victim before a complaint would be accepted. MPD policy requires information materials (brochure, poster and forms in multiple languages) be on display but ACLU found many items missing.

MPD Chief Cathy Lanier responded to the ACLU testimony at the annual police oversight hearing of the Council Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety promising the Council to audit how the stations are following the general orders that spell out how each station is to welcome complaints. She acknowledged the police department had not systematically checked in almost a decade.

The Washington Times wrote about the hearing here. A full report is available of the ACLU study methods and findings