Media Contact

February 5, 2023

In response to Marquez Parker dying  while in police custody, the following statement can be attributed to Melissa Wasser, Policy Counsel for ACLU of the District of Columbia:

"Yesterday, the Metropolitan Police Department reported the death of Marquez Parker, who passed away on February 2 while in police custody at a Northwest District holding cell. 

Being accused of a crime should not be a death sentence. Yet, despite countless  calls for systemic reform, the Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) have shown little evidence that they are working to prevent people from dying while in their custody. 

We call on the D.C. Council to  use their upcoming oversight hearings to question Director Faust and Chief Contee about resident deaths and to demand clear  reporting mechanisms. To prevent future deaths in our criminal legal system, police agencies and DOC must commit to safety measures that value residents' lives. The death of Marquez Parker is yet another tragic example of why these agencies  need an immediate overhaul and external accountability mechanisms. "