Violent crime has crept out into posher parts of the nation’s capital and suddenly city residents and officials are outraged by the kind of trouble that has ravaged Wards 7 and 8 daily for years. Homicides in D.C. are at the same level now as they were at this time in 2020. One may think that the numbers are higher this year because of the stories that flood the news cycle but in 2020, COVID-19 was the dominant news, masking a rise in crime that many Americans are now recognizing. Last weekend was tragically violent for a few hundred people.
Innocent Victims: Children
On July 16, six-year-old Nyiah Courtney was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting that injured five others in Southeast D.C. Community members are heartbroken and outraged over the incident that occurred at the corner of Martin Luther Ave and Malcolm X Boulevard on July 16.
A car believed to be connected to the case has been found, but no suspects are in custody. Nyiah was known as a sweet, energetic girl who loved to dance.
Nats Park Close Call
Just a day later, three people were injured in a shooting outside Nationals Park. The sound of gunfire sent baseball fans and players scrambling for cover, panicked and confused. One vehicle connected to the incident was recovered and the two occupants detained for questioning; they are well-known by law enforcement. The third gunshot victim was a fan who is expected to recover.
No weapons entered the stadium, nor were any shots fired inside. According to police, “at no time during this incident were individuals attending the game in any kind of danger.”
Hitting the Northwest
President Biden visited a popular restaurant for lunch a few weeks ago: Le Diplomate. Thursday night, the famous French spot turned bloody. Just one mile from The White House, around 8:30 pm, suspects opened fire onto a crowded 14th Street. Two men were injured, one was shot in the arm and the other in the chest. Police believe one of the victims was targeted and the other was an innocent bystander. About three dozen shots sent locals scattering into restaurants and hiding under tables. The Metropolitan Police Department obtained footage of the suspects fleeing in a getaway car but have made no noticeable progress in obtaining and identifying them.
A Plan to Fight Crime?
Chief Robert Contee of the MPD said his force is noticing a proliferation of firearms. Mayor Muriel Bowser, along with city council members, cut the police budget by $15 million last year and $36 million this year. Suddenly, she wants more action from the police to curb violence in her city. Bowser simply directed the Metropolitan Police Department “to use any overtime necessary to meet our public safety needs.”
Many politicians have called to “defund the police” and each has their interpretation of what that means. The recently developed narrative surrounding police has made it extremely difficult for city forces to hire new officers. Washington D.C. has seen a mass exodus from the MPD; it now has the lowest number of officers in decades.
In response to the rise in crime in the nation’s capital, police officers will patrol high-crime areas on bicycles and scooters and engage with the communities. A new “Community-Focused Patrol Unit” will have three squads with a sergeant and eight officers. They are to be deployed to Columbia Heights, Washington Highlands, and Bloomingdale neighborhoods. That is likely to have little effect on the spread of violent crime into areas such as Northwest, Logan Circle, and Downtown.
Today, scared citizens are demanding more of a police presence in the city. Violent crime is not new to Washington D.C., but has predominantly existed in the Southeast, Wards 7 and 8. Now that the crime has gotten closer and closer to their $2 million homes, eateries, and MLB games, hypocritical Democrats are concerned.
Innocent bystanders have always fallen victim to violence in Washington but no one outside of the southeast section of the city cared, simply because it was not affecting them. Out of the blue, wealthy D.C. Democrats are alarmed, not out of concern for those most at risk, one must conclude, but for themselves.
Read more from Keelin Ferris.