WASHINGTON (WNEW) — D.C. Councilman David Grosso made a splash at a police oversight hearing by suggesting disarming officers in the District.

“My staff won’t let me tell you that I think we oughta get rid of guns in the city and that police shouldn’t have guns so I’m not gonna tell you that,” Grosso said.

His suggestion at the Howard University School of Business took some by surprise but councilman Tommy Wells pointed out the idea is not unprecedented.

“In other countries not every police enforcement officer is armed with a weapon that’s going to kill somebody,” Wells said.

RELATED: D.C., Baltimore Police Departments Consider Body Cameras

Wells adds if a police incident does escalate, “it’s one thing to escalate with a billy club versus escalating with a pistol.”

Police officers in D.C. came under fire from frustrated citizens and organizations who say the department continues to use racial profile and unnecessary force at an oversight hearing held on the campus of Howard University.

“Some of the officers treat the citizens who are black in this community like animals on a daily basis,” said Patrice Sulton, of the D.C. branch of the NAACP.

One witness who testified before the panel said he fears a Ferguson-like incident could occur in D.C.

RELATED: D.C. Police Chief Addresses Officer Misconduct

Wednesday’s was the first of two hearings organized by Wells. The second will be attended by D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier at the Wilson Building on Oct. 27.

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(WNEW’s Chuck Carroll contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.)


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