§ 5–331.07. Police handling and response to First Amendment assemblies.
(a) The MPD’s handling of, and response to, all First Amendment assemblies shall be designed and implemented to carry out the District policy on First Amendment assemblies established in § 5-331.03.
(b)(1) Where participants in a First Amendment assembly fail to comply with reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions, the MPD shall, to the extent reasonably possible, first seek to enforce the restrictions through voluntary compliance and then seek, as appropriate, to enforce the restrictions by issuing citations to, or by arresting, the specific non-compliant persons, where probable cause to issue a citation or to arrest is present.
(2) Nothing in this subsection is intended to restrict the authority of the MPD to arrest persons who engage in unlawful disorderly conduct, or violence directed at persons or property; provided, that there is individualized probable cause for arrest.
(c) Where participants in a First Amendment assembly, or other persons at the location of the assembly, engage in unlawful disorderly conduct, violence toward persons or property, or unlawfully threaten violence, the MPD shall, to the extent reasonably possible, respond by identifying and dispersing, controlling, or arresting the particular persons engaging in such conduct, and not by issuing a general order to disperse, thus allowing the First Amendment assembly to continue.
(d) The MPD shall not issue a general order to disperse to participants in a First Amendment assembly except where:
(1) A significant number or percentage of the assembly participants fail to adhere to the imposed time, place, and manner restrictions, and either the compliance measures set forth in subsection (b) of this section have failed to result in substantial compliance or there is no reasonable likelihood that the measures set forth in subsection (b) of this section will result in substantial compliance;
(2) A significant number or percentage of the assembly participants are engaging in, or are about to engage in, unlawful disorderly conduct or violence toward persons or property; or
(3) A public safety emergency has been declared by the Mayor that is not based solely on the fact that the First Amendment assembly is occurring, and the Chief of Police determines that the public safety concerns that prompted the declaration require that the First Amendment assembly be dispersed.
(e) If the MPD determines that a lawful First Amendment assembly, any other public assembly, riot, or part thereof, should be dispersed, the MPD shall:
(1) Where there:
(A) Is not an imminent danger of bodily injury or significant damage to property, issue at least 3 clearly audible and understandable orders to disperse using an amplification system or device, waiting at least 2 minutes between the issuance of each warning; or
(B) Is imminent danger of bodily injury or significant damage to property, issue at least one clearly audible and understandable order to disperse using an amplification system or device;
(2) Provide the participants a reasonable and adequate time to disperse and a clear and safe route for dispersal; and
(3) Capture on body-worn camera each component of the order to disperse described in subsection (e-1) of this section.
(e-1) An order to disperse shall:
(1) Be authorized by an official at the rank of Lieutenant or above;
(2) Inform the persons to be dispersed of the law, regulation, or policy that they have violated that serves as the basis for the order to disperse:
(3) Warn the persons to be dispersed that they may be arrested if they do not obey the dispersal order or abandon their illegal activity; and
(4) Identify reasonable exit paths for participants to use to leave the area that will be dispersed.
(e-2) When dispersing a First Amendment assembly, any other public assembly, riot, or part thereof, MPD shall, to the extent possible:
(1) Position all arresting officers at the rear of the crowd so they can hear the order to disperse; and
(2) Have the arresting officers positioned at the rear of the crowd provide verbal confirmation or a physical indication that the warnings were audible.
(f)(1) Where a First Amendment assembly is held on a District street, sidewalk, or other public way, or in a District park, and an assembly plan has not been approved, the MPD shall, consistent with the interests of public safety, seek to respond to and handle the assembly in substantially the same manner as it responds to and handles assemblies with approved plans.
(2) An order to disperse or arrest assembly participants shall not be based solely on the fact that a plan has not been approved for the assembly.
(3) When responding to and handling a First Amendment assembly for which a plan has not been approved, the MPD may take into account any actual diminution, caused by the lack of advance notice, in its ability, or the ability of other governmental agencies, appropriately to organize and allocate their personnel and resources so as to protect the rights of both persons exercising free speech and other persons wishing to use the streets, sidewalks, other public ways, and parks.