Marion Barry: D.C. Police Officers Need To 'Get In The Gym, Go On A Diet'

FILE - In this July 9, 2011 file photo, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray, right, listens as DC Council member and former Washing
FILE - In this July 9, 2011 file photo, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray, right, listens as DC Council member and former Washington Mayor Marion Barry speaks during a Ward 8 Community Summit in Washington. Barry, the former four-term District of Columbia mayor whose legacy will always be tainted by his 1990 arrest after being caught on video smoking crack cocaine in an FBI sting operation, now plays the role of elder statesman on the D.C. Council, where he represents a poor, predominantly black ward. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File)

WASHINGTON -- Marion Barry sure has a way with words. Earlier this year, the former District of Columbia mayor and current Democratic councilmember representing Ward 8 had unkind words for "dirty" Asian businesses his constituents have to shop at. Then he disparaged nurses from the Philippines, sparking a diplomatic outcry.

He later walked back both statements, though in the process offended those with Polish heritage.

Amid a legislative dispute over a bill addressing job discrimination for formerly incarcerated criminals, Barry recently accused D.C. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Barbara Lang of being a "traitor" to her African-American heritage for opposing his bill, according to The Washington Post.

Barry also said that D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, who also opposed Barry's bill, sounded "like the white southerners who opposed the public accommodation bill and the Civil Rights Act."

Now, as WJLA-TV/ABC7 reports, Barry has vocalized his belief that some Metropolitan Police Department officers need to be in better shape.

"Get in the gym, go on a diet," he said, according to the news station, which said that Barry has called on MPD Chief Cathy Lanier "to start a rigorous training program for these police officers to get in shape, because these guys will outrun you every time."

Lanier fired back, saying that Barry's comments disparaged officers who put their lives on the line daily.

Washington City Paper reports that D.C. police officers only have to meet fitness requirements when they are first hired and that "there are no ongoing benchmarks to meet once they are on the force."



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