WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier says she’s seeking an independent assessment of the department’s handling of bias crimes.

Lanier appeared Wednesday at a D.C. Council oversight hearing, where she said she had reached out to the Anti-Defamation League to bring together a panel of experts for an independent review of policies and procedures.

She rejected criticism that the department was not responsive to reports of violence against transgender people.

Although police made an arrest for the February 2 murder of transgendered woman Deoni Jones, a spokesman for the D.C. Trans Coalition pointed out at the meeting it was the first arrest for such a killing in nearly a decade.

The hearing covered various topics, including pedestrian safety, staffing levels, the homicide closure rate and the use of technology in policing.

Kris Baumann, leader of the police officers’ union, skipped the hearing in protest of Councilmember Phil Mendelson, who chairs the public safety committee. He says Mendelson has failed to protect officers who testify before his committee from retaliation.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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