Memorial to Robert Remington

End of Watch: May 19, 1987
Rank: Officer Badge No. 2780
Age: 39  Years of Service: 18 years
Location of Death:  1517 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Duty Assignment: Second District

 

Circumstance:

Officer Robert Remington was shot and killed after responding to a burglary alarm at a designer clothing retailer on the 1500 block of Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown. Discovering evidence of a burglary, he entered the store where he became involved in a struggle with one of the two suspects. He was able to shoot the first suspect in the hand but was overpowered by the second suspect who disarmed him. The suspects then forced him to his knees and shot him five times with his own service weapon.

Officer Remington was discovered by his backup officer and transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.  The two suspects were later arrested by members of the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division. They were convicted of murder and subsequently sentenced to life in prison.

Biography:

Officer Remington had served with the Metropolitan Police Department for 19 years. He lived in Gaithersburg, MD. He was born in Washington, DC. He was a graduate of Crossland High School and attended Prince George’s Community College. He had served in the Air Force Reserves. Survivors include his wife, Kathy, and two sons, Kevin and Matthew, all of Gaithersburg, and his mother, Barbara Watson, and one sister, Patricia Ross, both of Clinton.

 

Articles from the Washington Post – transcribed by Dave Richardson, MPD/Ret.

THE SHOOTING DEATH OF OFFICER ROBERT REMINGTON ON MAY 19, 1987.
INCLUDED ARE:
ONE ARTICLE THAT REPORTS COURT TESTIMONY THAT OFFICER REMINGTON WAS MURDERED IN COLD-BLOOD AFTER PLEADING WITH THE SUSPECT SEVERAL TIMES, STATING “NO, DON’T DO IT.” THE OFFICER WAS THEN SHOT IN THE HAND, BOTH ARMS, BACK AND CHEST. IT’S NOT KNOWN HOW MUCH TIME ELAPSED BETWEEN THE SHOTS.
THE CONTROVERSY FOLLOWING THE JUDGE’S RULING THAT THE FELONY MURDER CHARGES BE DROPPED AGAINST THE “LOOKOUT.”
THE FACT THAT THE KILLER TOLD A FRIEND THREE MONTHS BEFORE THE SHOOTING THAT HE WOULD SHOOT A POLICE OFFICER IF HE WERE EVER ACCOSTED BY ONE.
THE PRESENT STATUS OF TWO SUSPECTS.
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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED MAY 20, 1987, PAGE A1
D.C. Officer Slain in Struggle During Georgetown Burglary
An 18-year D.C. police officer was shot to death early yesterday with his own gun as he struggled with a man at a Georgetown boutique who was apparently trying to steal dozens of $108 sweatshirts made popular by a movie, police said yesterday.

The slain policeman was identified as Officer Robert Remington, 39, assigned to the 2nd District west of Rock Creek Park. Remington, who lived in Gaithersburg, was the father of two sons, ages 10 and 14, and was less than two years away from eligibility for retirement.

The shooting occurred at Hugo Boss, a men’s clothing store at 1517 Wisconsin Ave. NW in the heart of Georgetown shopping district and sparked an early morning manhunt for two suspects.

Police said Remington had worked a night shift and was about to go off duty when, about 5:45 a.m., a burglar alarm sounded at the store and he responded.

Remington apparently surprised the burglar, struggled with him and shot him in the hand. Police said the burglar then overpowered Remington, took his revolver and fired five shots.

Remington was wearing a bullet-proof vest, but one of the three bullets that struck him entered his body under the arm and apparently struck his heart, police said. Another bullet sheared through his brass police badge, No. 2780.

Inside the store, police later found two bags stuffed with sweatshirts with the word BOSS emblazoned on the front. The shirts became popular for the macho image after actor Sylvester Stallone wore one in the 1985 film “Rocky IV,” and had the target of a rash of recent burglaries at the Hugo Boss store.

Minutes after the shooting, two uniformed Secret Service officers, who were monitoring D.C. police radio transmissions and had come to the area to give assistance, saw a man running, blood dripping from his hand. They arrested him in the 3000 block of Q Street NW, police said.

The man, identified as Michael Andre Perry Jr., 18, of 419 Randolph St. NW, was later charged with first-degree murder in Remington’s slaying.

Law enforcement sources said yesterday that Perry has an extensive juvenile record but has never been charged as an adult.
Sources also said that Perry gave police information indicating that there were two accomplices in the burglary.
Shortly after 6 last night, police arrested a man they identified as Dewin Brent Straite, 22, at his home at 3931 Ninth St. NW, and charged with felony murder and burglary in Remington’s slaying.

A source said police were seeking a third suspect described as a juvenile.
Remington was pronounced dead at Georgetown University Hospital at 6:35 a.m., the 99th officer killed in the line of duty since the force was formed in 1861.

His death struck a taut chord of anger and empathy among the city’s 3,880 police officers, who covered their badge numbers with black tape in his honor.

“It hurts. It’s family. Every time one of us gets shot, it takes a little bit out of every one of us,” Emergency Response Team Officer Dan Snyder said yesterday.

“The only thing that helps the hurt is that in this police department, whoever shoots a cop is caught.”
Alain Chetrit, owner of the Hugo Boss boutique, said the store had suffered a series of burglaries since Stallone’s film brought attention to the pricey, brightly colored sweatshirts, sweat pants and jackets made by a West German clothier.
Between Jan. 31 and May 4, Hugo Boss was broken into four times and thousands of dollars’ worth of clothing, mostly sweatshirts, was stolen, according to police.

Police said they are comparing the fingerprints of the men arrested yesterday with those found at the shop after the earlier burglaries.

Chetrit, who also owns Silhouette and Inwear-Matinique, clothing stores that flank Boss, said he has owned shops in the block for 14 years and “never had problems before the movie.”

Because of break-ins, police were paying close attention to the store with the aid of an alarm system designed to immediately alert police to a break-in.

When the alarm sounded yesterday morning, two 2nd District units were dispatched—Remington alone in scout car 73, and two officers with dogs in a 1985 station wagon.

But the station wagon broke down and the officers radioed Remington about the delay, police said. Remington replied that he would go on to the store and radio for help if he needed it, police said.

Once he arrived, he called for backup, but he went inside the store before other officers arrived about three minutes later, according to police.

“He happened to be the first” on the scene, Police Chief Maurice T. Turner Jr., said at a news conference yesterday afternoon at police headquarters.

“Obviously, the buddy system would have given him more protection.”

The shooting touched off a massive manhunt in Georgetown, where members of the Emergency Response Team went door-to-door along the exclusive residential streets all morning looking for the two suspects who had escaped.

Heavily armed SWAT team officers and the canine patrol searched rows of shops on Wisconsin Avenue before most merchants opened for business, closing a block of the busy street to traffic.

Turner expressed frustration yesterday with a criminal justice system that he said makes possible the killing of police officers by repeat offenders with long criminal records.

Echoing the sorrow expressed yesterday by dozens of officers, Turner said: “There’s a loss, there’s a widow, and there are two children that have to experience life in this world without the assistance of a father. And we have lost a brother police officer.”

 

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED MAY 21, 1987, PAGE A41

2 Held in D.C. Officer’s Laying; Juvenile Sought
Two Northwest Washington men were formally charged with the shooting death of a veteran D.C. police officer in a Georgetown boutique and ordered held without bond yesterday in a heavily guarded courtroom where further details of the officer’s slaying emerged.

Meanwhile, police continued to search the city for a third suspect, a juvenile who sources said was implicated by one of the other suspects in statements to police.

Michael Andre Perry Jr., 18. Of 419 Randolph St. NW was charged with first-degree murder and second-degree burglary in the predawn slaying Tuesday of Officer Robert Remington, 39, whose autopsy revealed that he was shot five times.
Derwin Brent Straite, 22, of 3731 Ninth St. NW was charged with felony murder in what prosecutors characterized as his role as “lookout” in the burglary, which targeted dozens of $108 sweatshirts popularized by the movie “Rocky IV.”
Detailed statements issued yesterday by the U.S. Attorney’s office gave this account of the shooting:

Remington responded alone to a 5:45 a.m. burglar alarm at Hugo Boss, a men’s clothing store at 1517 Wisconsin Ave. NW in Georgetown’s shopping district. Straite, standing outside the store, warned Perry and an unidentified youth inside the store of the officer’s approach, then fled. The unidentified youth left the store through a broken plywood board in the front window.

Inside, Remington encountered Perry and ordered him to freeze. As Remington attempted to handcuff Perry, Remington struggled with him, shooting him in the left hand. Perry then overpowered Remington, took his revolver and shot him five times—in the hand, chest, back and both arms, according to the statements.

Perry was arrested by two uniform Secret Service officers less than a half-hour after the shooting as he ran along a

Georgetown residential street. Straite was arrested Tuesday night at his home.
Citing their potential danger to the community and the possibility that they would try to flee, D.C. Superior Court

Commissioner Andrea Harnett denied bond for both men and set a preliminary hearing for May 29.

According to law enforcement sources, Perry has a long juvenile criminal record.

Perry, who was shot in the hand during the struggle with Remington, was not in court yesterday and was listed in good condition last night at D.C. General Hospital.

Straite, whose record includes a 1985 felony conviction for receiving stolen goods and a 1985 misdemeanor conviction for unlawful entry, stood impassively during the 10-minute arraignment.

 

 

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WASHINGTON POST OBITUARY DATED MAY 21, 1987, PAGE B4
ROBERT REMINGTON
39, the D.C. police officer who was shot and killed with his own gun May 19 as he struggled with a burglar at a Georgetown boutique, had been assigned to the 2nd District since joining the force in 1969.

Officer Remington, who lived in Gaithersburg, was born in Washington. He was a graduate of Crossland High School and attended Prince George’s Community College. He had served in the Air Force Reserves.
Survivors include his wife, Kathy, and two sons, Kevin and Matthew, all of Gaithersburg, and his mother, Barbara Watson, and one sister, Patricia Ross, both of Clinton.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED MAY 22, 1987, PAGE C5
Third Suspect in Slaying Of D.C. Officer Is Hunted
Victim to Be Buried Today in Aspen Hill
D.C. police said yesterday they are still searching for a third suspect in the fatal shooting Tuesday of D.C. police Officer Robert Remington, who will be buried today in Aspen Hill.

Two men are in custody without bond in the shooting. Michael Andre Perry, 18, of 419 Randolph St. NW is under police guard at D.C. General Hospital where he is being treated for a gunshot wound in the hand. Derwin Brent Straite, 22, of 3731 Ninth St. NW also was arrested.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said in a statement Wednesday that Perry told police in a statement that he shot Remington in Hugo Boss, a men’s clothing store at 1517 Wisconsin Ave. NW in Georgetown. The officer, an 18-year member of the force, interrupted a burglary about 5:45 a.m. when the shooting occurred.

Meanwhile, Montgomery County police are expecting a large turnout for today’s 11 a.m. funeral at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, 11811 Clopper Rd., Gaithersburg. Clopper Road (Rte. 117) will be closed between Waring Station Road and Long Draft Road from 9 a.m. until after the funeral.

After the service, the procession will go to Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 13801 Georgia Ave., Aspen Hill.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED MAY 23, 1987, PAGE C1
Colleagues Proudly Salute Slain Officer
The Last Goodbye
They stood outside St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Gaithersburg in their dress uniforms, blue and brown and gray, the officers from the District of Columbia, from Montgomery County, from as far away as Boston.

All wore grim faces as they went about the day’s duty: orchestrating the pageant of formality, anger and pride with which police officers mark the death of a fallen colleague.

Later, less than 12 miles from where he was shot to death with his own gun Tuesday morning during a burglary in Georgetown, D.C. Officer Robert Remington, 39, was buried with hero’s honors in Aspen Hill’s Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
The sun pierced a gray morning fog as the white-gloved D.C. police honor guard pulled the coffin, draped in an American flag, from the shiny black hearse and carried it into the pyramid-shaped church in Gaithersburg.
Mayor Marion Barry, Police Chief Maurice T. Turner Jr., and City Administrator Thomas M. Downs, among other dignitaries, joined Remington’s family, friends and fellow officers to pray for an 18-year veteran police officer who lived a gentle life during his off-duty hours and died a violent death.

Remington was slain when he responded to a burglary alarm at Hugo Boss, a men’s clothing store at 1517 Wisconsin Ave. NW, on Tuesday morning less than 15 minutes before his shift was over. Remington confronted a burglar who was trying to steal dozens of expensive sweatshirts, costing $108 each, that had been made popular by a movie. As Remington tried to handcuff the man, they struggled, and the officer shot him in the hand. Police said the burglar then overpowered Remington, took his revolver and shot him in the hand, chest, back and both arms.

Yesterday’s simple service was broadcast through tinny speakers to an overflow crowd outside the slate-colored, modern church, where not long ago Remington and his wife Kathleen had renewed their marriage vows.

The Rev. Robert D. Duggan spoke movingly of a quiet, family-oriented man whose “heart was given over to basic values” of home, family, country and honor….a man committed to being a good cop.” His heart of his life was with his family,” his wife and sons Kevin, 14, and Matthew, 10, Duggan said of Remington. “He was a strong supporter of his mother, a comrade to his sister.”

Remington was “always ready to start a car for a friend who needed a ride, to run an errand…to help a fellow out of a tight spot,” Duggan said. Called “Railroad” by his fellow officers because of his initials RR, Remington exemplified “the ordinary ways that we live our lives in love—home, family, fidelity, and honor. Living in ordinary ways sometimes we become extraordinary heroes.”
In a central slice of Montgomery County, daily life slowed for almost an hour as a four-mile procession of nearly 400 cars, many of them police cruisers and unmarked police cars with red lights flashing, snaked along the 14 miles from church to cemetery.

Flags flew at half-staff. Firefighters stood at attention outside their stations, the engine company lights flashing. People stared from the streets and shopping center parking lots, motorists from idled cars. At Georgia and Heathfield avenues, a small boy saluted.

At Kathleen Remington’s request, no 21-gun salute was fired at the cemetery. Instead, more than 1,000people surrounded the grave, softly reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

Afterward, three of Remington’s fellow 2nd District officers spoke with emotion about their friend, whom they described as a private man who loved his family, wind-surfing and cars.

“It’s struck home not only because he’s a fellow officer, but because I also have a couple of kids the same age as his sons,” Officer Kenneth J. Adams said, giving way to tears behind his dark glasses. “I certainly, for his sons, hope they know how proud they should be for their father.”

Officer Tim Vaney, who worked the midnight shift with Remington for seven years, said: “We’re going to continue on and Robert’s going to be with us every moment, especially the busy moments. It’s just going to be hard to turn around and find he’s not really there.”

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED MAY 30, 1987, PAGE B3
Additional Charges Eyed In Slaying of D.C. Officer
Victim Quoted as Saying, “Don’t Do-It!”
A D.C. Superior Court judge yesterday sent to a grand jury for possible additional charges the cases of two men charged in the shooting death of D.C. police Officer Robert Remington, who according to court-room testimony, begged his assailant not to shoot him.

Remington, 39, was slain minutes before he was to go off duty May 19 when he responded to a silent burglar alarm at Hugo Boss, an exclusive men’s clothing store at 1517 Wisconsin Ave. NW. An 18-year police veteran, Remington confronted a burglar who was trying to steal dozens of $108 sweatshirts and $45 T-shirts that had been made popular by the macho movie “Rocky IV.”

As Remington tried to handcuff the man, they struggled, and the officer shot him in the hand. Police said the burglar then overpowered Remington, took his revolver and emptied it, shooting the officer in the hand, chest, and back.
Michael Andre Perry Jr., 18, of 419 Randolph St. NW has been charged with first-degree murder and second-degree burglary. Derwin Brent Straite, 22, of 3731 Ninth St. NW, described in testimony as a “lookout,” was charged with felony murder.

Judge Warren R. King ordered their cases bound over to the grand jury after a homicide detective testified about statements made by the two men after their arrests. A grand jury could decide to bring additional charges, let the current charges stand or throw them out.

Homicide Detective Raymond Jeffrey Greene testified that according to their statements, Perry, Straite and a third man planned the burglary, drove to Georgetown and entered the store through a broken front window covered by a board.
Straite, who later stood outside the store, warned of Remington’s approach by yelling: Here come the Joes!”—street slang for police officers. Then he and the third man fled while Perry hid in the back of the store, Greene said.

Remington confronted Perry and the struggle began as he tried to handcuff Perry. “Perry said—he didn’t like the way the officer jerked his hand around,” Greene testified. “He thought it was too rough.”

Greene said Perry told him that before he shot the officer, Remington begged several times, “No, don’t do it! Don’t do it!”
Dressed in a wrinkled, orange prison jumpsuit, his left arm in a cast to the elbow, Perry shook his head frequently while Greene testified.

Perry’s attorney, Steve Millican, asked Greene whether Remington made any statements that identified Perry.
“After he was shot, he was on the floor dying and did not make any statements,” Greene replied.

Two uniformed Secret Service agents arrested Perry, who was bleeding from a gunshot wound to the hand, after they saw a man running down Q Street NW. Homicide detectives interviewed him later that morning at D.C. General Hospital, where he was taken for treatment. His mother, Karen Perry, was present for part of the interview, Greene said.

Perry identified Straite from a photo array and he was arrested at his parent’s home. Straite later told police in a statement that Perry and the third man had robbed the Hugo Boss store previously, Greene said. Between Jan. 31 and May 4, Hug Boss was broken into four times, each time during the early morning hours when police are changing shifts, and thousands of dollars’ worth of the popular sportswear was taken, according to police.

Police are continuing to look for a third suspect who they believe drove Perry and Straite to the store.

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PARTIAL WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED JUNE 11, 1987, PAGE DC13
Slain Officer Remembered at Police Promotions
A silent prayer for slain officer Robert Remington and a stirring rendition of the song “Memories” by a rookie officer set a solemn tone last week for a ceremony marking promotions to ranks ranging from sergeant to deputy chief for 39 members of the D.C. police force.

“You can’t appreciate the sunshine unless you have some rain in your life. Two Fridays ago, we had some rain in our lives when we attended the funeral of fellow officer Robert Remington,” said newly promoted Deputy Chief Jimmy L. Wilson, bowing his head to lead a capacity crowd at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services auditorium in a silent prayer.

Remington, who had spent 18 years with the force, was shot five times with his gun May 19 after he responded to a burglar alarm at a Georgetown clothing store. He was the 99th D.C. police officer slain in the line of duty since the department was formed in 1861.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED JUNE 15, 1987, METRO SECTION
Suspect in Police Slaying Led Life aced with Drugs, Violence

From his first conviction at the age of 10, Michael Andre Perry Jr.’s life seemed to be a descending spiral. He compiled a juvenile record of nine more convictions, including one a few months after his 17th birthday.

Then in May, shortly after being released from a juvenile detention center, Perry landed a first-degree murder charge after he allegedly pumped five bullets into 18-year-veteran D.C. police Officer Robert Remington inside a Georgetown boutique.
An 18-year-old with a fancy for designer sports clothes and gold nugget rings, Perry loved to attend go-go dances, pick fights and smoke PCP, say several of those who know him. He grew up in Petworth, a working-class Northwest neighborhood of solid row houses with bright awnings and front porches off Georgia and New Hampshire avenues, a quiet but troubled youth who spent nearly half his life in and out of detention centers, according to family and friends.

Before dawn on May 19, according to police charges, Perry, his sometime antagonist Derwin Straite and a third youth tried to steal expensive sweatshirts and T-shirts from Hugo Boss, a trendy Georgetown clothier. When Remington approached, police allege, Straite and the other, still-unidentified youth fled, but Perry hid in the store.

Moments later, he and Remington struggled, police have alleged, and Remington shot Perry in the hand before being overpowered and having his revolver stripped away. Police said that as Remington pleaded, “No, don’t, don’t do it,” Perry fired five shots into the 39-year-old officer.

The violence of the incident stunned many in the city and raised a haunting question: What triggered the apparent transformation of a simple burglary into a brutal slaying? While there may not be a universally accepted answer, the story of Remington’s slaying and what propelled it shares a troubling commonality with hundreds of crimes that involve the city’s young people.

To his family and friends, Perry’s troubles were magnified by his time in juvenile detention centers and the drug he used. To city officials who work with troubled youths, Perry never stood a chance in a system that locked him up instead of helping him out of the destructive pattern first displayed at the age of 10.

To law enforcement officials, Perry is a lifelong thug who they believe killed one of their own and deserves the harshest punishment the justice system can deal him.

The person who killed Remington is “not a poor, little guy-he did something terrible,” said Assistant Police Chief Isaac Fulwood. “You have made one tremendous judgment when you kill someone, and he deserves to be punished.”
Oscar (Doc) Webster is director of the Petworth Community Service Center, an oasis of playgrounds, basketball courts and a clubhouse that also offers counseling to neighborhood youths. He said he believes that drugs are at the core of Perry’s troubles.

“You take a young person like Michael with so many problems and you add drugs. It’s just multiplying the problem, {adding} another handicap,” Webster said. “There’s a whole lot of Michael Perry’s out here, especially when it comes to drugs, especially when it comes to his street buddies.”

Perry and Striate, who also was charged with felony murder in Remington’s death, are two of hundreds of young men and women in the District who sources in the courts and law enforcement agencies say follow a frightening pattern: They are repeat offenders who entered the juvenile justice system early and have gone on to commit sporadic acts of violence, often when they are high on drugs or trying to get money for drugs and status possessions.

“My fear is that more of these violent episodes will take place. PCP is not only a deadly drug for the person who is taking it, but it’s a deadly drug for society in general,” said Audrey Rowe, former social services commissioner of the District who now oversees social services from the mayor’s office.

“Episodic violence is the psychotic outcome where the use of PCP has so adversely affected a young person’s ability to reason and control that they are operating on sheer animal instinct almost,” Rowe said.

According to police, Perry and Straite made statements saying they smoked PCP-laced cigarettes all night as they planned the burglary. A cheap and potent liquid that is the drug of choice among a growing number of Washington area youths, PCP ravages the brain cells of its users, causing unpredictable violent behavior, memory loss and uncontrollable reactions. Be-because it is absorbed and accumulated in the body’s fat cells, psychotic flashbacks can occur months, even years later.
Perry was last released from Oak Hill, a facility for delinquent District youths, on Feb. 13 after serving time for a stabbing. Webster said that he and his staff of seven counselors at the Petworth center tried unsuccessfully to interest Perry in recreational activities designed to keep young people off the streets and out of trouble. Perry often filled his time with smoking PCP, which turned him from quiet loner to angry bully looking to fight, according to several neighborhood youths.
“Michael is one who slipped through the cracks. That’s what troubles me; if I could’ve just reached out and grabbed him, maybe this wouldn’t have happened. That’s something that I could toss and turn on all night,” Webster said last month. “Can’t we come up with some magic wand to say, `Hey, quit going where you’re going.’ “

Perry’s first arrest came in June 1979 at the age of 10 for oral sodomy. Records filed in court show a lengthy juvenile record, dotted with violence.

“Mike always seemed to be in trouble unless they put him away somewhere. I don’t know how Mike got off to as bad a start as he did,” said 81-year-old Thelma Bradley, whose two-story house at 419 Randolph St. NW has been home to most of Perry’s large extended family for more than 30 years.

“I don’t know what happened to Mike, why he went astray. He worries his mother and grandmother to death,” she added. Bradley is not related to the Perry family, but family members call her Grandma.
Born to Karen Perry when she was 15, Michael Perry is the oldest of four children. When Perry was 8, he was beaten by a male friend of his mother, according to a friend and law enforcement sources. Two years later, Perry was charged in juvenile court with sexual assault on a 5-year-old.

Charges of increasing violence followed, according to court records: robbery, force and violence in 1981; grand larceny, assault with intent to rob, obstruction of justice and second-degree burglary in 1982; robbery, force and violence, and assault with attempt to rob in 1983; second-degree burglary in 1985; assault with a deadly weapon, a knife, in 1986.
“It’s really a tossup whether a kid ends up in the neglect system or the juvenile system, because you almost have a neglect case per se when a 10-year-old ends up in the delinquent system. The neglect system offers a lot more help to kids,” said an official who worked with Perry at Oak Hill.

The official described Perry as a quiet youth who worked hard to complete his high school equivalency degree before leaving the facility in February. Allegations of his involvement in Remington’s slaying shocked the detention center staff, the official said.

Last month, Karen Perry, a secretary, sat solemnly through nearly an hour of courtroom testimony about her son’s alleged role in Remington’s death.

“We were all raised up in a family that believed in God. And we all went to church. And there’s really nothing I can say about what actually happened with my son,” the 32-year-old Perry said in a brief interview.

“I guess no matter what values parents instill in children, they still have to face the system, the pressures of society. Sometimes the system and the pressures don’t give them a chance,” she said.

Angela Broadas, an acquaintance of Michael Perry, said she too was beaten by the man who beat Michael. She said she also turned to PCP to escape reality.

“Things affected Mike that came from childhood on up; that’s why he kept getting quieter. He started smoking PCP because he thought it would take his troubles away from him,” said the 21-year-old Broadas, who works as an aide at the Petworth center.

“That’s why drugs have infested themselves in the black community-when you’ve got deep-seated problems you reach out to get relief, and if you reach for drugs it just gets worse,” she said. “I just can’t believe he put his whole life in jeopardy, not for T-shirts.”

In the week before Remington’s slaying, Perry picked several fights, according to those who know him, including one with Straite, his fellow defendant in the case.

During that week, according to several neighborhood youths, Perry told people at the Petworth center that he worked at Hugo Boss, asked their sizes and color preferences, and promised them coveted Boss sportswear at bargain prices: $108 sweatshirts for $50 each, and two $45 T-shirts for $30.

“He was lunching on the love {PCP},” street slang for losing reason because of smoking PCP, said Julian Goodman, an 18-year-old student and basketball player at Roosevelt High School.

“Michael Perry would do anything for money. He was trying to make himself something that he wasn’t. He was trying to get money too fast, trying to get in the fast lane,” said Andrew King, an 18-year-old from the neighborhood who works at the Petworth center. “He’d talk to you one day, turn on you the next.”

Some Boss items were taken from Bradley’s house the night of the slaying, after Karen Perry allowed police to search the house without a warrant, according to law enforcement sources. No Boss items were found at Straite’s house at 3731 Ninth St. NW, according to a search warrant in his court records.

Straite has a lengthy juvenile record, history of PCP use and two convictions as an adult.
Lucy and Daniel Striate said in an interview that their son had gone through a troubled period beginning with his first arrest on drug charges at the age of 13. But they maintained that their son had straightened out after spending four months in jail for convictions in 1985 of receiving stolen property and unlawful entry.

Court records show that Straite repeatedly tested positive for PCP use or failed to report for drug testing as he awaited trial that year. But the Straites said that since his jail term, their son had earned a high school diploma, begun studying to become a mechanic and spent most of his free time riding his bike, body-building and attending to an aunt who is dying of cancer. They say they are certain that he is innocent of involvement in the burglary and slaying.

For now, the lives of Perry and Straite are intertwined, and they will remain so until their guilt or innocence is determined by the court. Police have vowed to find the third suspect in the case.

“Seeing that badge blown up, seeing that uniform shirt soaked with blood, it’s scary to think that two kids did this, because you know police officers have kids, too-and so cold blooded,” Fulwood said. “Why didn’t he just run? The officer couldn’t have done anything.”

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WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL PAGE DATED JUNE 20, 1987, PAGE A21
Why Give Press To the Criminal
I was shocked, indignant and saddened to read Victoria Churchville’s story on Michael Andre Perry Jr., the alleged murderer of D.C. Police Officer Robert Remington inside a Georgetown boutique (A Life That Slipped Through the Cracks,” Metro, June 15).

Undoubtedly, Perry is an underprivileged, socially neglected young man, and there are more than sufficient reasons to explain (but not excuse) his life style. But is this worth almost a full page, and not to mention of the heroism of Officer Remington, who was so brutally slain, or the other members of our police department who every day risk their lives to protect the life and property of D.C. citizens? Shame!

Robert J. Rosenthal
I was angry to read once again a story that tried to evoke sympathy for a criminal but at the time ignored his victim.
I am truly sorry that Michael Perry was beaten as an 8-year-old. However, I find the attempt to connect this latest incident to his use of PCP ridiculous. The Post would have us believe that this poor child was failed by the “system” and his parents, and that his involvement in crime was therefore not preventable. The Post ignores the thousands of children who manage to rise above circumstances much worse than those suffered by Perry.

The Post makes much of the fact that Perry and his co-defendant smoked PCP the night before Remington was shot. The Post ignores the fact that his co-defendant elected to run. For whatever reason, Perry chose to remain on the scene, he chose to resist arrest and he chose to shoot Officer Remington. It is for those choices that he must be held accountable.
I find it sad The Post would devote so much space to Michael Perry. The community would have been much better served if The Post had devoted that space to another story about Officer Remington. I was one of Remington’s supervisors. Remington was the ideal officer. He approached his job with devotion, sympathy and a sense of humor. He was a man you could depend on. He was the type of officer that I pray would be around if I or my family ever needed assistance. He was a devoted husband and father. As a D.C. native, he would serve as an excellent role model for many of today’s youth.
I am also astonished that The Post would divulge the contents of Michael Perry’s juvenile record. This record is sealed by law, and for good reason. I find it very irresponsible of The Post to publish these facts to a community from which Perry’s jury must be drawn. In order for the system to work, Perry must receive a fair trial. The Post has made it much harder for an impartial jury to be found.

There comes a time when reasonable people must choose between papers and protecting a defendant’s rights. The Post failed.
Carl A. Occhipinti
The writer is a sergeant with the D.C. Metropolitan Police.

 

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED OCTOBER 2, 1987, PAGE 49

2 NW Men Indicted In Officer’s Death
Two District men were indicted yesterday in the shooting death of D.C. police officer Robert Remington, an 18-year veteran who was killed during a burglary at a Georgetown clothing shop in May.

A D.C. Superior Court grand jury charged Derwin B. Straite, 22, of 3731 Ninth St. NW, and Michael A. Perry Jr., 18, of 419 Randolph St. NW, with first-degree murder, second-degree burglary, assaulting a police officer and attempted theft in the May 19 shooting.

Remington, 39, was shot after he responded to an early-morning burglar alarm at Hugo Boss, a fashionable men’s clothing store in the 1500 block of Wisconsin Avenue, and struggled with Perry over the officer’s gun. Perry was shot once in the hand before he gained control of the gun, shooting Remington five times, according to court records.
Straite allegedly served as the lookout for the burglary.

Both men are being held without bond at D.C. Jail.

 

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED OCTOBER 15, 1987, PAGE J3
DROWNED POLICE OFFICER HONORED FOR BRAVERY
With crumpled tissue in her hands and pride in her eyes, Judi Welsh stood inside a banquet room at the Omni Shoreham Hotel last week and accepted an award for her husband, a D.C. police officer who died last year while trying to save a stranger from drowning.

“This is so overwhelming,” Welsh said. “I’m absolutely delighted . . . . “

The story of Kevin Welsh’s heroic action, which brought some members of the audience to tears, goes like this: In August 1986, Welsh jumped into the Anacostia River to try to save a drowning woman. The river’s current pulled Welsh under the water as he swam toward the woman, who was later saved by other officers. Welsh, 34, an eight-year member of the police department’s division of Special Operations, drowned.

For his valor in the line of duty, Welsh was posthumously awarded a gold medal-the highest honor a District police officer, firefighter or corrections officer can earn-at the 28th annual Meritorious Service Awards luncheon last week.

More than 700 business and community leaders attended the event, which was sponsored by the Greater Washington Board of Trade.

District firefighter Richard Young also was awarded a gold medal. In October 1986, he stood surrounded by fire and caught a man falling from a tractor-trailer teetering on the edge of the 11th Street Bridge. Nine other District police officers and firefighters were awarded silver medals for similar acts of courage.

City officials and community leaders praised the award winners throughout the ceremony. D.C. Council Chairman David A. Clarke expressed the city’s “deep gratitude for the supreme sacrifices” medal recipients made for the community. Mayor Marion Barry hailed the winners as heroic exceptions in a society that is usually “too busy and too big to care about others.”
Police officer Robert Remington, who was fatally wounded in May while trying to stop a Georgetown clothing store burglary, was awarded a silver medal posthumously. Four police officers who assisted Welsh in trying to save the drowning woman-Dana Dewey, Jerome Fremeau, David Hayes and Steven O’Dell-also received silver medals.

Silver medals were awarded to four firefighters: acting Lt. Everett Cooper Jr. and William Cave, who rescued an unconscious man who was immobilized when his truck struck an electrical power cable; Edwin Lehan, who rescued a person trapped in a burning house, and Kevin Sloan, who rescued an infant from a burning building.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED FEBRUARY 10, 1988, PAGE C3
Man Says He Shot D.C. Officer in Self-Defense
Gun Went Off During Struggle in Georgetown Clothing Store Last May, He Says
The man accused in the shooting death of a D.C. police officer during a burglary in Georgetown last May has told police he was defending himself and was struggling to get the officer’s gun away from him when it discharged, according to a statement he made to police.

“I was trying to get the gun out of his hands,” Michael A. Perry Jr., 18, told D.C. homicide investigators in an interview recorded May 19, the day of the shooting, and played during a pretrial hearing in D.C. Superior Court yesterday.
“I never really had no reason to kill that officer,” said Perry, who said he and Officer Robert Remington, 39, “tussled” over Remington’s gun after Remington responded to an early-morning alarm at Hugo Boss, a fashionable men’s clothing store in the 1500 block of Wisconsin Avenue NW.

Police allege that Perry and Remington, who was an 18-year veteran, struggled over the gun. Perry, they say, was shot once in the hand before he gained control of the weapon and shot Remington five times while the officer pleaded for his life.
Perry and Derwin B. Straite, 22, both of Northwest Washington, are charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Remington, second-degree burglary, assaulting a police officer, and attempted theft. Jury selection in their trial is expected to begin today after Judge Truman A. Morrison III rules on pretrial motions.

Perry’s statement to police was played in court yesterday while his attorney, Greta Van Susteren, and prosecutor William Martin argued over whether it could be admitted as evidence in the case and whether Perry understood his rights when he granted the interview.

Morrison denied a defense motion to suppress Perry’s statement but has yet to rule on a similar defense motion to suppress a statement—on videotape—by Straite.

Perry, dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit, sat impassively through yesterday’s proceedings.
On the taped interview, Perry sounded calm and lucid. He told investigators who visited him at D.C. General Hospital that he and friends had been smoking the drug PCP when they decided to break into the Georgetown store and “take stuff.”
When Remington entered the store, Perry said, he hid after discovering that his friends had fled. The officer, he said, came at him with his gun drawn, shouted a racial slur and ordered him not to move.

“He was doing it in a way like he had an attitude or something,” said Perry, who complained that Remington “jerked” his arm while trying to handcuff him and threatened to shoot him.

“I reached my hand up (to stop him from shooting) and pow, he shot me,” said Perry. “I yelled and then I went towards him.”
During the struggle, Perry said, both men had their hands on the weapon. He initially denied shooting Remington, then said, “I guess both of us did…we were tussling.” Perry said he didn’t know how many shots were fired during the struggle.
Asked later who shot the officer, Perry replied, “I don’t know….It was both of us ….He had a better grip on it (the gun) than I did.”

At one point during the interview, Perry interrogator, D.C. homicide detective Raymond J. Greene, told Perry that Remington had been shot five times.

“Don’t you think it’s a little strange that the policeman shot himself five times?” Greene asked.

“Yes, said Perry, who continued to deny shooting the officer.

 

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED FEBRUARY 20, 1988, PAGE C1
D.C. Burglary Lookout Suspect Acquitted in Officer’s Slaying
A D.C. Superior Court judge ordered the acquittal on felony murder charges yesterday of a man accused of being the lookout in a Georgetown burglary last May in which a D.C. police officer was shot to death.
Judge Truman A. Morrison III granted the motion for acquittal sought by the defense despite arguments by the prosecution that the jury should be allowed to decide the guilt or innocence of Derwin B. Straite, who was charged with felony murder for his alleged role as lookout during the burglary in which Officer Robert Remington was killed.

The ruling leaves two charges, burglary and attempted theft, remaining against Straite, 22, who has been on trial this week with co-defendants Michael A. Perry Jr., 18. Both live in Northwest Washington.

Perry is accused of shooting Remington with the officer’s gun during a struggle after Remington responded to an early-morning burglar alarm at Hugo Boss, a men’s clothing store in the 1500 block of Wisconsin Avenue NW> All charges against Perry remain for the jury to decide.

Attorney Steven A. Kiersh, who represents Straite, argued that Straite could not have foreseen that a police officer would be killed. Kiersh said that neither Straite nor Perry was armed, that the burglary occurred when the store was closed and that Straite ran away when police arrived.

“Is it natural and probable to think that Mr. Straite….would expect that the person he went there with….is going to wrestle a service revolver away and shoot a police officer?” Kiersh argued to the judge, “It is not a natural and probable result and Mr. Straite cannot he held liable.”

Yesterday’s ruling—-a rarity, according to many local lawyers—-brought a quick and angry response from Gary Hankins, chairman of the labor committee of the Fraternal Order of Police, who said it symbolized “an unforgivable cheapening of the lives of Remington and all police officers and innocent citizens.”

Hankins accused Morrison, who was a top criminal defense attorney with the D.C. Public Defender Service before his appointment to the bench 10 years ago, of “shedding his judicial robes and putting on the mantle of a defense advocate as he stretched and warped the law…”

However, Yale Kamisar, a professor and criminal law expert at the University Of Michigan Law School, said the ruling appeared to be “a perfectly plausible result” based on the D.C. statute defining felony murder in such a case. “To hit this guy (Straite) with felony murder seems to be like hitting him with lightening,” said Kamisar,”….Here this guy is a lookout. How is he different from a thousand other lookouts in a thousand other burglaries?”
Kamisar agreed with defense attorneys who said the ruling was a rarity, explaining that defense motions for acquittal—-based on any theory—-are seldom granted, coming as they do before the defense has presented its case. “How often will a judge, without hearing the defense, say the government does not have anything? But this seems one of those times when granting (it) seems appropriate.”

The doctrine of felony murder dates to common law England and says that a person who was not directly involved in a killing may be convicted if he was involved in a felony that led to the killing. Prosecutors in the District have a reputation for being aggressive in charging defendants with felony murder.

According to Kiersh, the D.C. statute distinguishes between the elements of proof required depending upon what type of crime led to the killing. Because crimes such as rape, arson, robbery and armed burglary are “so inherently dangerous” an accomplice may be convicted of felony murder simply because he was present when the killing occurred.

But in crimes such as unarmed burglary, the underlying felony in Straite’s case, the elements of proof are stricter, Kiersh said. The prosecution, he said, must show that the killing was a natural and probable consequence” of the crime.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William Martin had argued in court that it was reasonable and foreseeable for any burglar breaking into a store to anticipate the arrival of armed police officers, a confrontation and a shooting and death. He argued that it was a close issue, which the jury should be allowed to decide.

Closing arguments in the case are scheduled to begin Monday.

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PARTIAL WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED FEBRUARY 23, 1988, PAGE B3
AROUND THE REGION
D.C. Jury Gets Police Killing Case
A Superior Court jury is scheduled to begin deliberations today in the trial of a Northwest man charged with slaying D.C. police Officer Robert Remington last May.

Michael Perry, 18, faces a first-degree murder charge as well as burglary and attempted theft counts.
Another defendant, Derwin Straite, 22, who lives in Northwest Washington, also faces burglary and attempted theft charges.

Judge Truman Morrison III dismissed a felony murder charge against Straite last week, ruling that Straite’s role as a lookout during an unarmed burglary of a Georgetown boutique was not a legal basis for the felony murder charge.
Morrison, who drew vigorous criticism from police officers for dismissing the murder charge against Straite, yesterday set a $10,000 bond for Straite, who had been held without bond since his arrest. Morrison rejected a defense attorney’s request to release him on his own recognizance, saying the burglary and attempted theft case against Straite had been “absolutely overwhelming.”

Straite had not been released last night.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED FEBRUARY 24, 1988, PAGE B1
NW Man Is Convicted of Officer’s Slaying
Attacker Faces 20-Year Minimum Term For Boutique Shooting
A 19-year-old Northwest Washington man faces a mandatory minimum 20 years in prison after his conviction yesterday in the slaying of D.C. police Officer Robert Remington, who was shot to death with his own service revolver last May after he interrupted a burglary at a Georgetown boutique.

Michael A. Perry, who shot the officer five times after Remington pleaded for his life, was convicted by a D.C. Superior Court jury of all counts against him, including a charge of first-degree murder, which carries the mandatory term 20 years to life.

An accomplice in the aborted burglary, Derwin B. Straite, 23, also of Northwest Washington, whose involvement stirred heated reactions from the city’s police force when a murder charge against him was dismissed during trial, was convicted yesterday on charges of burglary and attempted theft. Straite faces a maximum sentence of 16 years.
Gary Hankins, chairman of the labor committee of the Fraternal Order of Police, said he was pleased with the verdicts against both men but said he will seek disciplinary action against Judge Truman A. Morrison III for not allowing jurors to decide the murder charge against Straite.

“After listening to their findings today, I think they (jurors) would have found him guilty,” Hankins said. Hankins said he had drafted a letter to the D.C. Judicial Disabilities and Tenure Commission requesting that Morrison be removed from the bench.

An official in the U.S. attorney’s office, who asked not to be identified, said last night that Morrison’s decision to dismiss the murder charge cannot be appealed by the government because it would create an impermissible situation of double jeopardy for Straite.

Morrison, who ruled that Straite could not have foreseen that the burglary would lead to a death, could not be reached for comment last night.

Perry, dressed in a dark blue suit and a red tie, swiveled in his chair at the defense table, pondering the ceiling as the jury announced its verdict. Morrison ordered him held without bond pending sentencing April 14.
Perry’s attorney, Greta Van Susteren, who had told jurors that Perry shot the officer in self-defense following a struggle over the gun, said she will appeal the verdict. She questioned Morrison’s decision to allow as evidence a statement Perry allegedly had made to a friend three months before the slaying indicating he would shoot a police officer if he were ever accosted by one.

“It’s a sad case. Nobody will ever know for sure what happened inside that store. There were no witnesses,” Van Susteren said outside court. “My client was shot first and then he shot the police officer. The jury decided that was first-degree murder and we have to accept the verdict.”

According to police, Perry and Straite had gone to Georgetown after smoking PCP, intending to steal clothes at the Hugo Boss store on Wisconsin Avenue. While Straite waited outside as lookout, Perry entered the store and tripped off a burglar alarm and Officer Remington rushed to the scene.

In statements made to police after his arrest, Perry said the officer approached him with his gun drawn and that Perry struggled to avoid being shot. Perry, who had a long criminal record as a juvenile, was shot once in the hand. He told police he did not know how Remington had been shot five times.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED APRIL 15, 1988, PAGE D1
D.C. Judge Orders 30 Years In Officer’s “Assassination”

Michael a. Perry, 19, was sentenced yesterday to a minimum of nearly 30 years in prison for shooting to death D.C. police Officer Robert Remington during a burglary almost a year ago of a Georgetown clothing boutique.
Before a courtroom packed with onlookers, including Remington’s widow Kathleen and several of his former colleagues, D.C. Superior Court Judge Truman A. Morrison III gave the harshest possible sentence, calling Remington’s death an “assassination.”

“There is no more serious crime in an organized community that the assassination in the line of duty of a police officer,” Morrison said, adding that seldom does a murder case present fact as aggravating as this one.

Perry’s sentence, for separate counts of first-degree murder, burglary, armed assault on a police officer, attempted theft and carrying a pistol without a license, runs from a minimum of nearly 30 years to a maximum of life in prison.

Under D.C. law, first-degree murder carries a mandatory minimum term of 20 years without parole. Truman ordered terms on the other counts to run concurrently with the 20 years.

Appearing before the bench in an orange jumpsuit, Perry told the judge in a rambling monologue that he was “truly sorry” for Remington’s death. “I’m not a cold person in the heart to where I don’t feel Mrs. Remington’s pain and her family’s pain,” he said. “Along with him (the officer) losing his life, I’m also losing my life.”

The sentencing ended a sometimes-controversial court battle over the May 19 incident when Remington, responding to a reported burglary at the Hugo Boss clothing store at 1517 Wisconsin Ave. NW, had his service revolver stripped away during a struggle with Perry and was shot five times.

At one point in the proceedings, police complained bitterly when Morrison dismissed a murder charge against Perry’s accomplice in the burglary, Derwin B. Straite, 22, who had acted as a lookout while Perry was inside the store.

Morrison on Wednesday sentenced Straite to a maximum five years for his conviction on charges of burglary and attempted theft.

Gary Hankins, chairman of the labor committee of the Fraternal Order of Police, who earlier had threatened to seek Morrison’s removal from the bench, said yesterday’s sentence is “not anything to be grateful for.”
“He got what he deserved,” Hankins said of Perry. “I just wish we had a law that would provide stiffer penalties.”

Kathleen Remington declined to comment as she left the courtroom escorted by several officers. At sentencing, she submitted a brief statement read by Assistant U.S. Attorney William Martin, saying her family’s life had been “changed forever” by her husband’s death.

Defense attorney Greta Van Susteren, who had argued at the trial that Perry shot the officer in self-defense, yesterday asked Morrison not to impose more than the required 20-year minimum, describing Perry’s history of physical abuse by parents during his childhood.

“This crime…was so predictable that it’s shocking we didn’t see it coming the years he was growing up,” Van Susteren said.
Perry had a lengthy criminal record as a juvenile. Three months prior to the shooting, he was accused in a stabbing in which the victim lost an eye. Perry yesterday laid most of his troubles on drug use. “I never dreamed I would be in the newspaper as a murderer,” he told Morrison.

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MICHAEL A. PERRY IS PRESENTLY CONFINED AT THE U.S. BUREAU OF PRISON’S HIGH SECURITY FACILITY IN POLLACK LOUISIANA. HE WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR PAROLE ON JUNE 3, 2013, WITH A HEARING DATE SET IN 2012. HE IS NOW 39 YEARS OLD AND WILL BE ABOUT 46 YEARS OLD ON THE PAROLE DATE.

DERWIN B. STRAITE WAS RELEASED FROM PRISON ON NOVEMBER 5, 2004, AT THE AGE OF 42. HE HAD SERVED ABOUT 17 YEARS.

NO INFORMATION WAS FOUND CONCERNING THE CAPTURE OF THE ALLEGED THIRD UNIDENTIFIED JUVENILE SUSPECT.