Letter questions Taxi Commission discrimination policies

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Details from initial requests in a probe into the DC Taxicab Commission and taxi driver treatment of black passengers are spelled out in an official letter obtained by WUSA9.

The letter, dated January 6, spells out the Office of Human Rights jurisdiction over the Taxicab Commission's handling of discriminatory practices and makes specific demands for Commission documents.

The Office of Human Rights Director's Inquiry comes after a year of WUSA9 undercover operations documenting black passengers repeatedly denied service, often in favor of white passengers down the street.

The formal notice document is addressed to Taxicab Commission Chairman Ron Linton.

In it, OHR Acting Director Monica Palacio says the agency has the right to investigate when it "has reason to believe that conduct prohibited by the Act [District's human rights laws] is occurring."

In the "preliminary request," the agency called on the Taxicab Commission to provide complaint records, investigation results, policies regarding drivers denying service, and the Commission's policies regarding education and training on the DC Human Rights Act.

A Taxi Commmission spokesman said the agency is cooperating and that OHR expects answers within ten days.


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