Shots at 9th and Farragut Tuesday Night



Thanks to a reader for sending the photos. He’d also like to know if anyone has heard any updates?


Sadly in more crime news check a terrifying email from Council Member Jim Graham about an Adams Morgan/Columbia Heights shooting after the jump.

Dear Friends, This proved to be a night of terrible tragedy as two young men were shot, one shot dead, at Champlain and Kalorama.

I have just returned from the crime scene…with gratitude for the presence of Mayor Fenty and Chief Groomes.

True madness, as the shooters literally passed by an MPD squad car (parked on a robbery patrol) –and then just feet from the police, opened fire into a group of youths. The officers, to their credit, gave chase after hearing some six shots. Bedlam ensured. But no one was captured or arrested.

That happened about 8:10 PM. But within two hours, as many as 16 shots were fired on the 1400 block of Girard (perhaps in related retaliation?). Thank God no one was injured or hit.

We are about commence construction to open up thta dead-end street at the foot of Champlain. With so little night time traffic or commerce, it has been an invitation to problems and crime.

As we know, there are active gangs or crews in this area and on Girard. Hopefully this will not lead to another spate of violence.

There have been in the past several months, a lot of shots in the area of Champlain and Kalorama but the community has been working with MPD, and myself, and we were getting some very positive results. Until tonight.

The was, according to the police, the first homicide this year in Adams Morgan’ although there has been violence.

I am unable to release the identity of the homicide victim at this time. But for now, let me repeat–This is a true tragedy.

With sincere sympathy to those who love these young men, Councilmember Jim Graham

95 Comment

  • All I am going to say is: This is the best that Jim Graham has to offer. Is he illiterate. Yes, I am sure he wrote it from a Blackberry or was under stress, but still. When reading it I cannot get past the mistakes and horrible grammer. He is an elected official idiot after all. And no, I am not looking past the real tragedy here…so don’t anyone even go there.

  • Another shooting this morning in the 600 block of Kenyon also – one adult male dead and a child injured and undergoing surgery.

  • It’s kinda hard to get uppity about grammar when you can’t spell it.

  • come on – he said “thta” instead of “the” and a couple paragraphs later said “the” when he meant “this”. And I see a stray apostrophe. Seems like you’re being a little over-critical here. At least Jim Graham is aware of what’s happening and reacts quickly. Also, as he mentions, he’s been working to get the dead-end street open to through traffic to stop this area being a quiet, dark nook with a lot of crime.

  • Live by the sword. Die by the sword. I just read an article in the post about the shooting in AM. Here is what is so maddening to me. Fenty attributed the murder to “dark areas” near where the playground where the guy was shot. Not the killers. Or the killers breaking the law by possessing guns illegally. No, jus tthe dark areas. As if we can just get rid of all the dark areas and senseless murders like this will just go away.

    That is the problem with the community. 20 y/o man hanging in a playground. And noone sees anything wrong with this? This problem will NEVER come close to being solved when “leaders” are unwilling to speak the truth.

    I am interested in hearing your response to this. These crews (14th St., Park Morton, Kennedy St.) are battling over drug turf. You love to point ou thow very few drug arrests involve guns. Well this would not be in the stats you cite. But, I guarantee you that this murder was centered around drugs.

  • One one level, I can appreciate the degree to which some of our POP regulars police (no pun) the English language. But -ah-did you all take note of the subject matter? Or has this become as routine as double parking for us?

  • No offense “Nate” but you have no idea what you are talking about. As a friend of the victim and friend of people who were with him when the shooting occurred, it did not happen in the playground. The victim was fleeing the shooters and eventually fell near the playground.

  • I’ve also learned that what “Adams Morgan” says is true…

  • This is not the first time “nate” has had no idea what he was talking about.

  • PS. I wouldnt want to be Mayor of this city any more than I’d want to take on what’s waiting for Obama.. Maybe the only mental/spiritual respite from this darkness is to, oh, focus on the arrival of sit down restaurants. Between the news concerning the economy, and the (seemingly) daily body count….the blues are in full effect, as they used to say.

  • Ok scratch my reference to the playground. That was simply mentioned in the Post. The point still remains that this guy is dead.

    Since you were there with him, are you going to give us the scoop on why he was killed? What kind of life was he leading that would cause two men to gun him down on a city street at 8PM?

    Give us some background on him. Otherwise, people will be left to draw their own conclusion.

  • How is it that, once again, shots are fired in the immediate vicinity of the 1400 block of Girard, and police can’t make an arrest? Can DC’s crime map even accomodate the icons that must fill this area? Any law enforcer worth his salt who is involved in the investigation of these crimes should know everybody who lives within a 3 block radius on a first-name basis. I know that a “no snitching” ethos makes their job hard, but certainly developing some relationship and trust with the many law-abiding folks who live in the area would do a lot to start letting folks know who the troublemakers are and getting more eyes focused on them. These are localized crews, and continually they commit the same crimes in the same areas, clearly unafraid of the consequences.

  • He was a good kid. Never in trouble, no drugs, no drinking. Had a job. All that being said, without going into full details, I will say this, you can’t help who your family is and even good people have bad friends.

  • i suggest the “grammar avengers” run for city council instead of nit picking others’ grammar.

  • Hey I am just going by what is in the paper. If you have an issue with what I said, take it up with the Post. They report for a living.
    However, you want to spin it, a 20 y/o man was gunned down in a densely populated area of the city by two young men within 30 feet of the police. Now maybe he wasn’t in the playground. Maybe it wasn’t in a “dark area” as Fenty stated. To me, that is like arguing what kind of bullets were used.

    Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) said that “dark areas” near the school present a danger but that the shooting was the year’s only homicide in the area, a block from bustling nightlife. “It couldn’t have happened any closer to what is the Adams Morgan business and nightlife district,” Fenty said.

    Witnesses told police that two gunmen walked up to a crowd of people near the Marie H. Reed Community Learning Center at Champlain Street and Kalorama Road and opened fire just after 8 p.m., Assistant Police Chief Diane Groomes said.

    Police found the 20-year-old, whom they did not identify, in a playground area. He had been shot in the upper body. He was taken to Washington Hospital Center, where he died.

  • Unfortunately this was not the only shooting in the neighborhood. Last night up here in Park View a man was shot dead in his home and a kid was wounded as well.

    Am I, and my roommates, deluding ourselves by thinking that these are all isolated incidents that are coincidental? Perhaps, but it is the only way that I can continue to feel safe and happy in the neighborhood. Thank goodness we live on a great block with kick-ass neighbors.

  • If CM Graham had any real vision he would take on that concentration of public housing. Where does he think the gangs thrive? Just look at Shaw around 7th and O and T. 4000 units of section 8 and public housing on five blocks around 14th is outdated and a recipe for disaster and yet Graham acts SHOCKED, just SHOCKED when gangs start shooting. HAve him try walking home on 14th in front of trinity towers and the next shithole over and the lovely juveniles hanging on the corner there and then tell me he is surprised shit goes down all over Columbia Heights.

  • Amen to Anonymous @10:54 — I don’t live in the immediate vicinity, but it’s my understanding that there are known crews (and properties attracting drug activity) that perpetrate alot of the violent crime in that area. Where are the police on addressing these issues? Will opening up that street really help that much? My condolences to the family/friends of the victim.

  • It’s completely maddening and frustrating that the MPD can’t walk the beat in DC. They do it in NYC, why can’t they do it here? How is it that this kind of thing can happen on the same block as a manned MPD patrol car and no arrests are made?

    I firmly believe that violent crime is a societal, systematic problem and for it to be eliminated there needs to be social change, economic change and complete involvement from the entire community, all of us. It’s not fair to only blame the cops or only rely upon the cops to eliminate violent crime, but I think it’s more than fair to ask them to do their part, to do their freakin’ job.

    The number of unsolved violent crimes around here is just unacceptable, and the fact the MPD does very little to become connected to the community they are supposed to serve is appalling.

  • I am so frustrated and angry with all the violence in this city…and it seems like it NEVER gets better. And all Lanier can say is “oh, the homicide rate is on a downward trajectory.” yippee. Cause 299 homicides is better than 300. come on!

    I think the thing that infuriates me the most is when I see 2 or 3 cop cars all on one block, just talking and hanging out like this city is crime free. I have been fortunate in that when I needed the police, they were there and were great. But…more often than not, I see a lackadasical attitude among them…like they have ‘better things to do’ than their jobs.

    I don’t want to start the whole ‘mandatory minimum’ debate again, because that’s just one part of the problem. But in the nearly 10 years I’ve been here, I have never felt more unsafe than I have in recent months (though I know that crime stats will prove that feeling is wrong). The tolerance for crime in this city is ridiculous – and it starts at the top with the mayor and chief of police…and the city council.

  • When talking about drug-related crimes (I have no idea if this was one), why does hardly anyone talk about the drug policy that creates the market?

    If you regulate the market, the black market goes away. Period. And we should have done exactly that decades ago.

  • Adams Morgan Says:
    December 11th, 2008 at 10:59 am
    He was a good kid. Never in trouble, no drugs, no drinking. Had a job. All that being said, without going into full details, I will say this, you can’t help who your family is and even good people have bad friends.
    Are you intimating that this guy was killed because of who he is related to? Geez. So this is some Jennifer Hudson type murder, huh? There really is no saving this younger generation.

    Well you can’t decide your family. But you can decide your friends. You can also limit your interaction with certain bad family members. I do not have any bad friends because of issues like this. Nor do I associate with my relatives that live outside the law.

    Let me tell you. I once dated a girl that would honk her horn at people. I point blank told her that if she just had to blow her horn at people, I would have to get out. Too many people have been shot over something as trivial as being honked at. That is the discretion that this young man should have applied in his life if his murder is due to bad family or friends.

    If this young man was a goody too shoes as you imply, then I really question why he would have such bad friends. Maybe you didn’t know him as well as you think. Or maybe he glorified living on the edge, running with the hoodlum crowd. Either way, the message of him being a good kid gets lost in the shuffle because most people just can not fathom being targeted and executed on a city street for no reason. Chalk him up as collateral damage in this war on drugs, as I am sure this is what this all stems from.

  • “Nate” I don’t know who you are, but based on your postings, you’re a truly sad person.

  • Why, Jim, why does the elected councilmember choose not to step up to the plate and question why MPD officers refuse to do the jobs that my taxes pay for?

    Why have I never — not once — seen an officer ever walking a beat in this city? Other jurisdictions seem to have no trouble with this. In the District, the only interaction we have with officers of the law is watching them speed by in their cruisers, reclined back in their seats not unlike the street rabble they ought to be protecting us from. I regularly see them conduction conversations on personal cellular phones; more than once I have seen them (idling, of course, because why would they give a damn about the air I breathe or the fuel my taxes purchase?) sitting in squad cars watching DVDs.

    These people actively avoid engaging residents of the District, which is an absolute disgrace, given the fact that I pay their salaries and they are sworn to serve and protect me.

    Why, Jim, do you not call for residency requirements for officers? My taxes pay their salaries, yet they have no vested interest in protecting this community. This becomes more clear each and every time one of these “tragic” incidents happens.

    Why, Jim, do you not even attempt to push through legislation that bans loitering — like that on the books in every other major jursdiction in this country? Surely you understand that even fine, upstanding young citizens who are up to no good on a playground after dark are more likely to be shot than I, in my home after another 9-hour day at work. This is hardly groundbreaking information.

    Thank “God” no one was hurt on Girard Street last night, Jim? Really? I am not paying taxes so that my safety can be in the hands of your “God.” How about some proactive police work? How about officers walking a beat in a neighborhood, getting to know who lives there and who does not, recognizing the criminals whose actions should be monitored?

    There are proven methods of crime prevention at MPD’s disposal, and they opt not to use them. This is a shame. That you take an elected position and repeatedly shirk your duty of implementing policies that would curb this epidemic, that, Jim, is a disgrace.

  • Nate makes a LOT of sense, jus say’n.

  • I’m sad, huh? I don’t know the killers. But they are the sad ones if you ask me. Young men full of life killing each other for pennies selling drugs. That’s what’s sad to me AM. What is even worse are the enablers of this behavior.

    You have intimated that this guy ran with bad friends and had bad family members that may be the cause of his murder. Did you ever suggest that he shouldn’t run with this crowd? No big deal if you didn’t. At 20 he was a grown man. Anyone he was hanging out with was HIS choice. Those choices have consequences. He pissed what was seemingly a good start to life by hanging with a bad crowd. Maybe the bullet to his chest will be a lesson to his younger brother/cousin/nephew.

    Can’t you see why this elicits so little sympathy from people? Isn’t it maddening that the behavior that caused his murder is marginalized to point out “dark areas”? Are not you angry that Graham at least feels good that the police were nearby? All hollow victories if you ask me.

    I have said it over and over. No black market will ever go unfilled. That is Economics 101. People are going to sell drugs until the end of time. All we can do is arrest them, build bigger prisons, and later arrest their kids, little brothers, and the next generation. The fallout from having an unregulated drug market are vicious murders. It happens in Mexico. It happens here.

  • NBC is reporting that the later gunshots after the Adams Morgan shootings were at the 1400 block of Fairmont, not Girard. I live next to Girard. I didnt hear any gunshots (and certainly not 16 rounds), but I heard lots of sirens running up and down 14th around that time.

    Anybody know which is true?

  • For someone who is clearly well-read, etc., I am a little surprised at Nate’s rather cynical assumptions concerning the victim. Statistically, Nate and I (both black males) could easily fall victim to a similar fate, and neither the bullets or the people who didn’t “know” us would necessarily think hard-working landlord or museum curator, respectively.

  • Reuben,
    That is exactly my point. The good get lumped in with the bad. I guarantee you I will never be shot because of the people I hang out with. That is one area of my life that I can control.

    Two men do not gun you down in AM without some provocation. That takes extreme anger. If it is the case that this guy was killed for no reason, then I say we have crossed a point of no return. I can deal with efficient targeted killings. Sadly, I can deal with murder in the commission of a robbery. I CAN not deal with random killings. That implies that noone is safe.

    Reuben, when it all comes out, my cynicism will likely be right. If it isn’t I apologize in advance.

  • The DC Council is not at all interested in getting tough on crime. If anything, many of them think current laws are too tough on criminals.

  • Standard response of our local “leaders”:
    1) express shock that such a thing has happened
    2) claim that you’re doing “all that you could” to stop this sort of thing
    3) state that this is an isolated incident

    lather, rinse, repeat

    ad infinitum

  • Well, Nate-you ( and a lot of other people) have accepted the reality of certain types of
    crimes. I can tell you from having worked with kids in Anacostia not too long ago, they, too, see all this as normal… Sorry, but this f—s me up more than anything. I also think the resignation I saw in their eyes contributes the lack of outrage from African Americans. As I said in the barber shop the other day ( and let me tell you, this put me on a lot of Xmas lists, I am sure).. Folks get very fired up over someone’s sexuality-
    but this genocidal mayhem we are confronted with? Silence.. As if the beloved Redskins left town… I do not understand.

  • I find myself repeating myself, but it would be a lot easier to legalize and regulate the drug trade than it would be to magically make cops competent. And the positive repercussions of legalization would go far beyond reducing street crime. Why don’t we just get on with it?

  • Jimmy D:
    Shots were definitely on Girard, right across from the Community Center. I heard about a dozen but wasn’t counting. There was at least one car with some damage from the bullets

  • animal mother, your suggestion is completely unrealistic. Check the history of the drug legalization legislation in DC (e.g., Initiative 59). It’s simply not an option. We can argue back and forth about the pros and cons of legalization, but it would be a total waste of breath.

  • animal mother-i so agree with you.. but i also feel the same way about national health care… oh well. to quote don king- “only in america.”

  • “The DC Council is not at all interested in getting tough on crime. If anything, many of them think current laws are too tough on criminals.”

    Sadly, this seems to be true. And it’s always turned around that the people (we residents, and I guess black residents in general) don’t WANT tougher crime laws, so it’s really our fault. Is this true? I want to know about a time when the council wanted to pass a tough crime law, and residents were up in arm protesting it. I’m not saying that it’s never happened, I just want to know the LAST time it happened.

    I wonder if this is just something that keeps being said, but in truth, plenty of residents would be just fine with super-tough anti-crime laws. I think people of any race and socioeconomic status want to be safe. And, sorry, I don’t think those old liberal touchstones of more job training and more community centers are going to fix the problem — the first thing that has to be done is to get some jokers off the street, for good.

  • “…but this genocidal mayhem we are confronted with? Silence.. As if the beloved Redskins left town… I do not understand.”


    You don’t understand? I think that it’s pretty simple. If you grow up with this type of crap happening everyday, you become desensitized. Even worse, you may believe that it’s actually normal.

  • animal_mother,
    I work for an agency that doles out money to hire police. It just isn’t going to happen. Too many vested interests on the side of getting the money to lock people up as opposed to solving the problem. Obama and Biden are gonna give this agency billions to community police without attempting to solve the problem. So the beat goes on.

    I can send a young boy up on Delafield to buy my weed. But I can’t send him to the liquor store on NH Ave to buy my blunts. They ID. Yet, the stop the drug crowd will tell you that legalizing drugs will cause a free for all. I say drugs are essentially legal now. There is a reason why I can not one stop shop and buy my blunts and weed from the weedman.

    If anyone has even the slightest grasp of economics, it would be obvious that legalization is the only solution. Even in third world countries with draconian laws, people still consume drugs. Remember the music producer Dallas Austin that was caught with drugs in Dubai? They have heinous laws against drugs. Still didn’t stop him. Or the person that sold it to him…

  • DCDireWolf, MPD does walk the beat, especially in Adams Morgan. Furthermore, having officers walking around would not have stopped this type of murder. Beat cops discourage random acts of violence, e.g. purse snatchings, but aren’t going to detray people intent on killing a particular individual. It’s clear that in this case this was not a random shooting but a planned event. If the killer was intent on killing this young man he would have done so regardless of the number of beat cops.

  • Those of you who advocate legalizing drugs have clearly never seen the effect of drugs like PCP and crack. Not only do they destroy the users but are also routine in stranger violence cases.

  • Anonymous Says:

    December 11th, 2008 at 1:25 pm
    Those of you who advocate legalizing drugs have clearly never seen the effect of drugs like PCP and crack. Not only do they destroy the users but are also routine in stranger violence cases.
    So how has banning them worked out? People have still had their lives turned upside down by the ILLEGAL drugs. Now we just ensnare the low level street dealer and ruin his life as well as the fiend. Not to mention the cost of doing business murders and robberies. Very rarely does stranger violence occur.

    I will even go so far and say the risk in selling drugs causes the price to be artificially high. Dealers inexplicably factor in the risk to their pricing. That causes much of the desperation. There is no reason why 9 parts baking soda and 1 part cocaine should cost $20 for a hit of crack. That’ll make you go steal someone’s copper plumbing out of their house.

  • Anyone have details on the 9th and Farragut incident?
    And on the tee-vee news this morning someone indicated that the victim in AM probably was a victim of mistaken identity. Terrible either way. My condolences.

  • If concerned citizens protested public housing, what would your reactions be or the community’s reactions be? I am interested in organizing such a protest, but I think it would be viewed badly.

  • When talking about drug-related crimes (I have no idea if this was one), why does hardly anyone talk about the drug policy that creates the market?

    because doing so is ass-backwards

  • Side note on MPD. Months ago I was in one of our Petworth establishments and struck up conversation with a police officer. Pretty nice guy, but he said, “I hate this f-ing neighborhood.” My thought – how useless to have someone protecting our neighborhood who can’t even stand to be here.
    Can we figure out who had a hand in improving NYC and bring them down here to clean house? I’d even pay a bit more in taxes to help fund a big enticing salary if I thought it would work. Or would anyone even want the job?

  • I think there are a lot of law abiding citizens who need public housing. That would be more like using a hatchet when a scalpel is needed. I dunno, when I see things like this, it just makes me wonder what I can do. The good citizens far outweigh the ones who commit crimes like this. Yes, the police are incompetent, but when it comes down to it, the ones who are going to make a community safe are its citizens.

    I can stay in my house, mind my own business, and yes, maybe it will keep me safe, but it won’t stop things like this from happening and it won’t solve the problem as a whole.

  • Nate is right in the sense that people at age 18 have to take total responsibility for their job, where they live and who they hang out with.

    I lamented the other day that a really nice woman I know who got herself up out of the Detroit ghetto was so damned religiously conservative. My friend at work, who was from middle/upper class Atlanta responded, “Those are the only people who get out, everyone else thinks a little of this or that is ok and then they’re in jail.”

    So, really, total voluntary prohibition is the only way to go. Not even drinking is ok at that economic level.

  • djdc, Rudolph Giuliani cleaned up New York. Regardless of whether or not the end justified his means, the District is a very long way away from electing a fellow who looks like that to any position of importance. Spineless talking heads like Fenty are the only people, it seems, who can get elected here.

  • Regarding MPD officers who don’t/won’t live in the District – I have several friends in the department and all live in either MD or VA. Several of them started out living here, but soon moved away because of what they called “not wanting to sh*t where you eat”. Thugs they locked up soon found out where they lived, word got out, and thugs vandalized their car/bike/apartment. I can see how it would suck running into people you locked up for domestic abuse at your local bar/coffee shop, or going to Safeway and realizing you arrested most of the meat department on drug charges at one time or another.

    There are exceptions, like Lt. Smith who lives in Shaw, but as most folks who’ve met him will note, he’s quite an exception in a lot of ways. A great guy all around who has done more for the community than just about anyone I can think of.

    Anyway, just something to think about when folks go bashing MPD folks for not living here.

  • Well just consider: if you loved the gangsta life and robbing, stealing, and killing, or if you loved killing women and making dresses from their skins, DC would simply be awesome. So maybe DC is like Vegas, but for killing instead of gambling, and one persons poison is another persons pleasure. I am sure this is how our council looks at it, and since the require the votes and support of the killers, our fate is sealed. Murderers are voters too, in DC. Also, I suspect they manage to make huge money off public housing but I have no way of checking into this. So if you want a more decent and safer life, Maryland is right up the road, just avoid the parts where DC criminals took over.

  • CP, in your post there is an excellent point that I have not heard before. Did Guiliani clean up crime or is it that people who would vote for a Guiliani have much lower tolerance for crime than the type of people who vote for a Fenty or a Mendelson or a Graham?

    I.e., did Guiliani cause low crime-tolerance, or did low crime-tolerance cause Guiliani?

    It seems that DC residents and politicians are willing to tolerate fairly high levels of crime.

  • To quote Éomer: “Do not look to hope. It has forsaken these lands.”

  • Protest public housing? I would LOVE to see what would happen to you if you were to go outside the public housing units on Harvard and Girard st and protest (best case scenario, you get yelled at and have rocks thrown at you. worst case…use your imagination). If you’re going to live in some of the shadier areas of DC, you pretty much have to take them for what they are and accept the fact that there will be a nominal risk of crime. Moving in and mandating change, well, that’s not a bad thing, but, like was so eloquently stated in a previous post, it would be like using a hatchet where a scalpel is needed to ‘protest’ section 8 housing. maybe someone should enact legislation saying that ‘if convicted of a felony, you will loose your rights to public housing”. i’ll bet that would scare enough parents into actually caring for their kids when the interests of the entire family are at stake.

    Housing is a right, not a privilege. I understand that the circumstances surrounding peoples descent into public housing may be very similar to the circumstances surrounding a rise in criminal activity (lack of opportunity, lack of decent education, lack of ability to acheive the american dream, etc), but public housing as an entity exists for the common good. And for what it does, public housing is of great utilitarian value. Cutting down crime in a certain neighborhood CANNOT be accomplished by simply shipping the perpetrators into another neighborhood. the whole idea of community, neighborhood, is centered around EVERYONE having EVERYONE’s back. Excommunicating people from the community as a means by which to clean up that community is completely counterproductive to the entire notion of what Community is all about.

  • Note that as far as I know its already mandated and required that occupants of Section 8 housing not engage in criminal activity. My guess is its simply not enforced. While I am not near S8 housing, after decades in the city I am pretty confident in saying that 97% (roughly) of all people are good, hard working, decent folks. This will be the same in S8 housing. Its the fact the the other 3% get to do whatever they want, which generally includes violence, and they can keep doing it for many years before they get killed. So, odds are, there are more allies for strong law enforcement in S8 housing than anywhere else. Again, this goes back to our griping on the council and their inability to keep criminals behind bars.

    Though note one of the odd gun things is up for debate these days, the fact that a gun needs to be proven operable to be illegal, and in proving its operability it is not viable as evidence. This is the “Inoperable Pistol Amendment Act of 2008” which was unanimously passed on Dec 2 and goes for its second reading on Dec 16, according to an email from Bowser.

  • “If concerned citizens protested public housing, what would your reactions be or the community’s reactions be?”


    Now, THAT would be ass-backwards.

  • dear god neener- do yourself and us a favor. and just stop making a fool of yourself.

  • I would say that Giuliani was responsible for a drop in crime; however, public outrage over 30-odd years of crime in New York — capped off by the Crown Heights riots and the toothless response of David Dinkins — did sweep him into office. A bit of the chicken and the egg.

    Surely a great deal of the credit in cleaning up New York goes to the former mayor, but there is a lot to be said for that huge middle class in the city that did not say “eff it, we’re moving to Garden City or Hoboken or Stamford” (unlike the great masses who ditched DC for Fairfax and Montgomery counties a generation ago) and instead demanded that they be allowed to live in a safe society.

    J, housing is a privilege, not a right. Those who behave poorly should have that privilege revoked if they behave in ways that threaten the well-being of those of us who, oddly enough, fund their living quarters.

  • nate and reuben are making a similar argument about the perils of being ‘connected’ that I did a while ago (Hi, neener).

    “Those of you who advocate legalizing drugs have clearly never seen the effect of drugs like PCP and crack. Not only do they destroy the users but are also routine in stranger violence cases.”

    If you have seen the effect of drugs like PCP and crack then it only proves the drug laws are not let’s say 100% effective.

  • elvenirving- legalizing these drugs would not make them more readily available. I can get crack in five minutes now and its illegal. all i have to do is walk around for 5 minutes in petworth. the drug war doesnt work. nobody is getting shot over Gin in adams morgan but people sure did in the days of prohibition. Gangs wont be killing over drug turf if you can walk to cvs and get a pack of jazzys for 10 bucks. get it.

  • Neener-
    As a person who lives on 14th and Girard, I applaud the sentiment of trying to bring forward the discussion of public housing in DC. I however think the public push should be to see the city develop a long term plan that spreads all subsidized housing throughout the city and works to end the pockets of highly concentrated section 8 and other subsidized housing. The area of Girard and Fairmont between 13th and 14th is just so outdated policy wise that you will never see an area like that ever built again in any major city in the US. I can only imagine what it was like 10 years ago.

    I think they just flat out need to start knocking crap down, specifically start with places near up and coming neighborhoods and build higher density mixed income buildings. It’s worked in Atlanta, Chicago, etc. If they put together a 10 – 20 year plan on how they can subsidize the rebuilding of government owned housing by selling market rate units, people can start buying in. Think of the areas not only in Columbia Heights, but in SW around the new ballpark. There are large plots of land down there taken up by low rises that can be rebuilt into prime real estate that will easily double the number of units for subsidized living. That’s how it’s done.

    housing is a priveledge, not a right. if you are asking or a hand out to put a roof over your head, you gave up your right to choose how and where that roof is provided

  • djdc Says:

    December 11th, 2008 at 1:54 pm
    Side note on MPD. Months ago I was in one of our Petworth establishments and struck up conversation with a police officer. Pretty nice guy, but he said, “I hate this f-ing neighborhood.” My thought – how useless to have someone protecting our neighborhood who can’t even stand to be here.
    Can we figure out who had a hand in improving NYC and bring them down here to clean house? I’d even pay a bit more in taxes to help fund a big enticing salary if I thought it would work. Or would anyone even want the job?

    In speaking of NYC, I presume everyone is referring to Manhattan as BK, BX, and Queens can still be quite dangerous. With that said, Giuliani did not improve NYC (manhattan). NYC is so unique it can not be compared to other American cities. First off, NYC has a totally different demographic than most inner cities. Most major inner cities are predominantly black. Think Detroit (80%), ATL, Memphis, DC, B’more. NYC on the other hand has a very low % of blacks relative to these cities. And it has a very large population of people with money.

    That allowed NYC cops to be hyper aggressive on petty crimes (mostly committed by poor blacks and Latinos) without much backlash. As such, they have the occasional Sean Bell, Diallo, or Abner Louima. This perceived mistreatment of black men would never be tolerated in a heavily black population.

    Dope boys hanging on corners just is not tolerated in Manhattan. That leads much of their drug dealing indoors. I have never walked up on a weedman on a street corner and bought weed in Manhattan. In DC/B’more/ATL/Birmingham/, it is par for the course. That makes the dopeman a sitting duck for a) robbery and b) getting your stash stolen. Both lead to murder or retaliation on the streets.

  • That difference, Nate, really makes me ask — why in the world does not a single one of these elected officials introduce legislation banning loitering?

    In a civilized society, there’s no tolerance for people hanging out on street corners. Fewer people hanging out –> fewer people killed in drive-by shootings. There is a direct correlation; that no one is willing to enact such a thing shows just how little they care about solving the problem.

    (In New York — yep, the city, Queens, Brooklyn, all of it — adults must be accompanied by a child on the playgrounds. They close after dark. And, best yet, this is actively enforced by officers of the law. Coincidence that there is less of this drive-by crap?)

  • If you’re saying that rousting people for petty crimes would be seen perceived as mistreatment…you know, you may be right, but I’d like to see the MPD just try these things, rather than just assume they know what the community would bear. And I’m sorry, I don’t think that murderers are such a big voting bloc that our council members are listening to them.

  • If a DC pol were to introduce a loitering ban, he would be committing political suicide. Especially if he were a black pol representing wards 4,5,7,8. It would be seen as a ploy to “drive” blacks out of the city. He’d be branded an Uncle Tom. Don’t believe me, look at home the no single beer sales were couched in race. Or just look at how Williams is perceived by black people.

    In NYC, noone really feels that they have sole ownership of the city. It’s everyone’s city. In DC, the black people here feel a sense of ownership and entitlement. Any law passed that disproportionately affected blacks would stir up racism claims.

  • You might be right, Nate. (I figure I tell you often enough when I think you’re wrong, I shouldn’t hesitate to say something when I agree.)

  • The Omnibus Anti-Crime Amendment Act of 2008 provides mandatory minimums for gun possession, and anti-loitering provisions under the expansion of the definition of gangs and the ability to prosecute them for nuisance crimes.

    This bill, submitted by our allegedly crime loving mayor, will be under consideration by Mendelson and the DC Council Judiciary Committee in January.

    Perhaps an email to Mr. Mendelson about your support for at least these portions of the act described above, especially in light of these murders, could be helpful.

  • Thanks HBD! Actual legislation with possibly an actual impact! Some days the sun does shine…

    Now, how do we ensure the laws are actually enforced? To my knowledge there’s already a ‘don’t kill people’ law which is routinely ignored.

  • Nate, I agree that that is likely the reason. But why aren’t a quarter million people who live here calling CNN and the New York Times and loudly pointing out that the District of Columbia would rather pander to a group of people that is encouraging criminal activity than protect its taxpaying citizens? It’s not shocking that there are some in society who have a persecution complex and don’t wish to follow the law. It is very surprising that such behavior is tolerated — indeed, that such behavior is rewarded. Talk about governing to the lower 5%.

  • That bill will likely go nowhere. Mendelson is opposed to mandatory minimums.

  • CP,
    Well if you live in Burleith, crime is not your issue. if you live in CH/PW/or AM, then you likely do not have the time and/or energy to complain. That’s just the way it is.

    I have tenants in SE that won’t even call the city when their trash is not picked up. If they can’t be bothered to do that, then imagine fighting a big issue like crime or schools. The level of apathy is amazing. And it is not just the 5% either. I bet there are four wards that almost exclusively vote based on race. These wards are easily pacified by fighting for affordable housing, jobs program, or standing up to the rich developers (code for white man). There is no way a race hustler like Barry could get elected over and over in NYC. But in DC, it is like poking Goliath in the eye to elect him.

  • The bill will never go anywhere if people just whine on Internet chat boards instead of actually trying to improve the conditions around them.

  • HBD, and what do you propose? Please, not the tired old BS about tutoring, recreation centers, job training, etc…

  • I propose we lure the crew guys to Mendelsons apartment building. Give him a month of that treatment and see what he says.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    More insanity sent from a reader:

    “This happened on my block about 10 minutes before I left the house. There were two fire trucks and an ambulance on the street, but I didn’t know what had happened. The police had the whole street blocked off and wouldn’t let anyone by without by without seeing their ID and getting a phone number.”

  • Ahhh…it’s all clear now. “Nate” is Nathan Boggs, emailer extrodinaire from other listserves. Wondered where you’d been…

  • Geez, Anon 5:33 — HDB just told us about a PENDING CRIME BILL that needs our support. Not just “BS” about tutoring.

    HBD, I appreciate that information. I’m not going to tell PoP what to do on his own blog, but it definitely seems like something that is worth a new post. If people can email Peter Nickles regarding the iPod Marauder, surely they can type out a message to Mendelson, Bowser, Fenty et al.

  • How about just emailing Mendelson instead of whining. It’ll probably take you less time.

  • No no someone PLEASE transport crew thugs to Mendelsons apartment complex!!! C’mon do it do it! 😉 They could be up all night, sippin on the 40z, bangin’ a drum and advocating for social change (inadvertently of course).

  • Christina, this was the message of HDB’s that I was responding to:

    “The bill will never go anywhere if people just whine on Internet chat boards instead of actually trying to improve the conditions around them.”

    Apparently sending an email that will fall on deaf ears now counts as “doing something”.

  • So let me turn it around — what would you suggest be done, Anon?

  • You know what’s irritating? And, this is not entirely your fault, Anon 6:34, you’re just reminding me of something. Every time any crime issueis posted on this board, there are people who are quick to talk about how its an endemic problem and nothing can be done, emails will fall on deaf ears, our councilmembers suck, our police suck, the world is coming to an end, blah blah.

    And then these SAME PEOPLE are likely to turn around and say something along the lines of “these people living in Section 8 housing or in crime-ridden neighborhoods are so apathetic, how can they stand living like that? Why don’t they DO SOMETHING?”

    My question is, if those of us who are middle-class enough to have computer access and who are tapped into this city enough to post here don’t do anything, why are we shifting the burden to people who probably have FAR less than what we have, in terms of knowing how to effect change? If we’re sitting around jawing without doing anything except talking about how things will never change, then how do we expect a single parent with a couple of kids, a couple of jobs, who is barely hanging on, to show up at council meetings or rush down to the police department and report every crime? Hell, maybe she thinks that nothing will ever change either.

    It seems like too many posters here are really quick to say that the “other guy” should be the one to do something. That’s just passing the buck.

    Getting back to your point — maybe the emails will fall on deaf ears, maybe not. Is it better, then, to do nothing? Do you think that emails are all that anyone would do? I’m very open to other suggestions that aren’t stupid, like trying to move gang members to a councilperson’s neighborhood.

  • Christina, I am not the Anon who made that point, but from my perspective the thing that frustrates me the most is that we pay for these services, people are hired (and well paid) to carry them out, yet nothing gets done. I get very angry when I am asked to do things that, simply put, are not my job, and more to the point, are the jobs of other people who generally sit around collecting blood sugar. As a middle class citizen, I have no real avenue to advocate for change. The councilmembers basically tell us we are imagining things, as they drive government sponsored vehicles to government sponsored parking spaces down at their offices, past all the crap that we have to deal with on a daily basis. And that attitude filters down through most DC departments. If I knew how to change things, I would try. I very much view this blog and a few other venues as a place to vent my frustration. I do plan on leaving DC as soon as I can manage, as I believe in voting with my feet and I am a country mouse at heart (after 20 years here). But like many others I am stuck here for the time being. Anyways, if you have any advice on what I can do, please do shout it out. However, I work pretty much all the time, and again, I get angry when asked to do the jobs other people are being paid to do. With my tax dollars, to boot!

    There, another successful vent, thanks for listening 🙂

  • Anon, venting is cool — it’s necessary, or things will explode. 🙂 But, I am not on my way out, I’m here for the time being. And it just strikes me that purposeless anger isn’t a good thing. Do I have some secret plan to change city government? No. I’m looking to others for conversation and guidance. Believing that nothing will ever change doesn’t seem helpful.

    I’m not sure if I understand what you’re referring to when you say you’re being asked to do a job that belongs to another.

    But, you know, you bring up a fine point, and I’m being serious — if the main point here is just to vent, then *I* am the one who is out of line. I might be looking in the wrong place for community engagement, and that’s okay — I like “Good Price or Not?” too.

  • I’m sure there’s room on this ol’ intertube for both venting and engagement. And who knows, perhaps one day you will vent and I will engage.

  • Anonymouses:

    Send an email to Mendelson.

    Don’t do it because you think it will be effective. Do it for me, God damn it!

    I will pay one (1) beer (any beer! not MGD, or PBR but a real 4-7 dollar beer) for anyone who can bring me physical evidence that they have emailed Mr. Mendelson about ANYTHING after Dec. 11, 2008 until Feb. 11, 2008. You can complement him on his moustache or pass the time of day OR SUPPORT THE PENDING CRIME BILL or whatever.

    Please email [email protected] to arrange the particulars, you lazy complaining bastards.

  • “I have tenants in SE that won’t even call the city when their trash is not picked up. If they can’t be bothered to do that, then imagine fighting a big issue like crime or schools. The level of apathy is amazing.”

    There are different kinds of apathy. There is apathy that is a manifestation of not caring. And there is apathy that is a manifestation of frustration because all of your prior efforts have failed so why bother to keep pounding your head against a wall.
    It is popular for people that live in the parts of town where the real estate values are high enough that a shooting will make the nightly news to assume that the residents of the high crime areas, where shootings happen all the time and don’t get reported in the media, don’t really care about the violence around them. This is false. There are many people in these areas that report crimes, call police, and give information. But they see the same criminals roaming their streets either because they are never arrested or if arrested they spend virtually no time behind bars. So why should someone risk their life to be a good citizen by reporting crimes and offering information when the criminal justice system is not going to either get the criminals off the street or keep them in jail for any appreciable period of time.
    During the real estate boom there was a belief that the gentrification train was going to carry all the criminals (i.e., the poor folks) to some corner in SE. Well, the boom is over. Whether we like it or not, we are stuck with each other. And we need to start giving a damn about what happens in other parts of the city and not just reserve the outrage for when a bullet comes crashing through our own windows.

  • GSG is right. I sense that a lot of the frustration on this site has to do with the fact that the wave of gentrification has yet to remove the poor (not to mention the frequently cited “ghetto Chinese” joints) to some distant land. Folks, I think we are in a depression. Which means-well-as Frank Sinatra once sang -“Put Your Dreams Away”. (for now, at least) Sorry…

  • I’ll write Mendelson! I’ll send him snail mail and email if it will help. I’m going to be moving into Park View next month and seeing things like this happen so close by is utterly disturbing.

    If we can get them to pass AND enforce that bill, its a start. Hell, even if nothing comes of it, its a start. But it has to start somewhere.

  • I sent Jim Graham the above yesterday; was surprised to not have found one of his talking points -style replies this morning. Perhaps he did not like my blunt tone; but maybe he has forgotten that he is a CIVIL SERVANT, whose sole purpose in coming to the office every day should be to strive to make this city a better place for me and my fellow taxpayers.

    Seems that he and some of his colleagues have strayed from their duties.

  • HBD, I don’t know if you meant to do this but I am laughing out loud. And it was sorely needed. Thanks!

  • Just emailed Mendelson (and Bowser) and cc’d the public 4D listserv. Will post responses here.

    HBD, I hereby donate my beer to your fine self.

  • “But, I guarantee you that this murder was centered around drugs.”

    I wrote this y’day. I still stand by what I wrote. If this guy was mistaken for his brother, then I am sure the reason his brother was wanted dead is due to drugs or some silly argument. His brother had recently been in jail for a weapons violation. Weapons and drugs go hand in hand…

  • give it a rest, nate. your nattering on and on about facts of which you have no knowledge has grown worse than tiresome.

  • Jim,
    Time will tell my friend. Time will tell.

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