Stop the hiring of Police Chief Newsham

Stop the hiring of Police Chief Newsham

December 2, 2020
Petition to
Prince William Board of County Supervisors
Signatures: 2,591Next Goal: 5,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Nancy Lyall

There are many residents of PWC that are outraged by the hiring of Peter Newsham as police chief.  The process used to hire this chief was not transparent and was severely lacking in community input. As a result, we are calling on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors to immediately terminate the agreement to hire Peter Newsham for the following reasons:
1. Newsham’s poor leadership led to a lawsuit against the Washington MPD in which the city had to pay $20 million in damages. PWC cannot afford those kinds of mistakes. 
 2. The type of leadership and policing tactics used in Pershing Park that led to this lawsuit are not what we want used in Prince William County.
 3. In the recent Lafayette Park protests, the Washington MPD conducted kettling and illegal arrests. These policing practices are not welcome in PWC.
4. The policy of using stop and frisk extensively by the Washington MPD under Newsham’s leadership disproportionately targets people of color and are unacceptable in PWC.
 5.  Newsham has stated his opposition to even moderate police reforms.
 6. Newsham has also stated his opposition to community oversight, referring to it as "emboldening criminals" and "tying the hands of police". Any police chief that is opposed to community oversight has something to hide.

7. Under Newsham's leadership the MPD has killed multiple black men including Deon Kay, Karon Hylton, D'Quan Young, and Marquesse Alston.

8. Newsham has had a long history of both personal and professional scandals. The 1990s and 2000s were plagued with allegations of alcoholism and domestic violence,  and mishandling of sexual assault cases while Newsham was at the helm of the MPD's Investigative Services Bureau.
Hiring Newsham was a significant step backward in the community’s relationship with the Board of County Supervisors. His termination and a reset in the hiring process with significant community input is the only way to repair this situation. Make a motion to reconsider his hiring immediately. 

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Signatures: 2,591Next Goal: 5,000
Support now

Decision Makers

  • Prince William Board of County Supervisors