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DC Mayor: No One Cares If Police Chief Uses Handicapped Spot

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser insisted Tuesday pictures of D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier’s police cruiser sitting in a handicapped spot in a residential neighborhood Monday weren’t a big deal.

The incident occurred Monday night when a local woman with a disabled daughter found the police chief’s car parked in her designated parking spot, according to local news channel FOX 5. Lanier’s car was parked in the spot for at least 30 minutes while she attended a community outreach program at a nearby police station.

When asked about it, Bowser initially told the local news channel she had no comment, but later when asked if the laws don’t apply to unelected officials, the mayor said “the laws do apply to her. I don’t know one person who would be overly concerned about one incident.”

“I think the citizens should be concerned about the chief’s leadership across the city and making sure we keep neighborhoods safe,” Bowser told FOX 5. “I don’t think too many people would spend too much time thinking about one incident of a driver putting a car in the wrong place.”

Lanier denied she was the one driving the car and a spokesman for the police chief said the officer driving her car only occupied the handicapped spot while he backed into a legal space. However, photos taken at the scene show another car parked directly behind the chief’s cruiser, making this scenario unlikely if not impossible.

Police Chief Lanier's car clearly parked in a handicapped spot (Source: Fox 5)Police Chief Lanier’s car clearly parked in a handicapped spot (Source: Fox 5)

Aside from the obvious people who might care that a police chief is abusing her power in this way, like the specific handicapped person that spot was designated for, one city council member would probably take issue with the chief’s actions.

Earlier this month, Councilman Jack Evans introduced legislation that would create more on-street handicapped parking spaces in the city and raise the fine for violating parking restrictions to $1,000.

The current fine is set at $250 for illegally parking in handicapped spots, and generally your car will get towed. Unless, of course, you are the chief of police.

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