Dear PoP – Policy Activity Last Night (Friday)

IMG_3468, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

“Dear PoP,

I’m surprised I didn’t see a post from you yet on what happened last night. (Although I know you don’t post on weekends regularly). I was walking home around midnight and there were 12-13 cop cars around the block of 14th street between Columbia and Irving. I walked up to a group of people that actually included Councilmember Graham. A cop explained what was going on, and when I asked someone what he said, I heard that someone was shot and killed.

This morning, I checked and found additional details.

“In Columbia Heights, a 19-year-old man was shot to death last night in the heart of the neighborhood’s developing retail and residential district, D.C. police said.

The area was brimming with people on a warm and pleasant night when the shooting occurred about 11 p.m. in the 3000 block of 14th Street NW, near the busy intersection of 14th Street and Columbia Road. The burst of as many as six shots sent people racing in all directions, some of them darting into traffic in their efforts to flee, according to witnesses.

Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) said he believed that the killing might have represented “gang retribution.”

The victim, who was not identified immediately, was hit in the head and fell in front of an apartment house doorway.”

And from Ontarioroader’s comment in Rant and/or Revels:

“Yep, a 19 y/o shot in the head and killed at 14th and columbia. There was also a gunfight in Adams morgan at kalorama and Champlain. 2 MPD officers shot and injured, but it sounds like they were able to return fire and kill the shooter.

there was also some jerk-off on a mini-bike firing off a 9mm at 12th and Decatur [maybe it was delafield] last night. MPD was out picking up casings and looking for a victim. Not sure if anyone was hit. Oh and a stolen car crashed, ejecting and killing the driver somewhere else in 4d. Good times… Good times.”


26 Comment

  • This in addition to the stabbing/homicides at 14th & Otis and 14 & Spring/Perry last weekend…looks like summer’s here.

  • the drug gang at 18th and Monroe St NW in Mt Pleasant shot a teenage boy at 10:30pm and they all got off without getting arrested.

  • Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.

  • Was the dirt bike red? That kid has been driving around rock creek, 2nd, varnum, webster, etc for days at all hours. The are aware but have been unable to pick him up…no chase laws.

  • i was pondering the dc situation the other day…in all seriousness, i believe we need a batman. not the comic book hero literally, but someone, anyone who will take the law away from these street punks, and dispose of them the way that the police, city government, liberal apologists never could or would.

  • Or we could just legalize drugs.

  • This kids need tutoring and recreation centers.

  • We have designed the perfect crime machine. First, provide financial incentives for out-of-wedlock births. Then, structure your housing assistance so that all of these single-teenage-parent kids are clustered together. Add in a school system that teaches nothing but hopelessness and delinquency. And finally, create a huge, highly profitable underground drug economy. Voila! You are now mass-producing criminals.

    Now, for bonus points, create a massive prison-industrial complex whose profits rise with the number of convicted criminals, and you have a wonderful political feedback loop to keep your crime machine functioning optimally.

    Welcome to America. Enjoy the show. You ain’t seen nothing yet!

  • Armed robbery/shooting just happened Sunday AM in the 600 block of Somerset Pl, Brightwood/Takoma area. Release from MPD:

    At approximately 1050 hours, MPD received a call for a armed robbery in the 600 block of Somerset Pl NW. Once on the scene it was confirmed that three black male suspects robbed two victim at gun point. One of the suspects was armed with a handgun and fired one round at the victims and then entered a Green or black vehicle possibly a honda accord. The suspects made good there escape and no one was reported injured as a result of the firing of the weapon. Anyone with information call MPD at (202)727-9099

  • As for the armed robberies, we must remember that these are the REPORTED robberies. So many people have given up and lost faith in MPD solving a robbery that they don’t even report them. There are probably twice as many robberies as are reported.

  • I’d guess probably less than half of all violent crime in this city is reported to MPD. When you combine those who have lost faith in the system, with the large immigrant population [legal and illegal] who have an intense distrust in law enforcement, with those who attempt to report crimes and are discouraged from doing so either by dispatch call-takers or the immense delay in response you end up with crime rates that really show very little of the what actually takes place.

    If you want to see this in action I encourage folks to do a ride-along with MPD – you just have to sign a waiver. I recommend an evening shift in 3D on a Friday or Saturday. There are some rules, common sense stuff like you’re not going to be out of the car much, but just sitting talking to the officer and listening to the constant calls for service going out on the radio will be eye opening & probably shocking to most. What actually goes on and what gets reported on the blogs and MPD/neighborhood listservs are very different.

  • “JJ Says:
    May 15th, 2009 at 7:45 pm
    I agree that this site is full of some weird half-assed cathartic whining about how sad the state of affairs is and i agree that just commenting on it is lame and pathetic.

    I disagree that the way to stop a bunch of assholes from robbing a place is to volunteer.

    If you see 13 fuckers running out of a store with clothes on a hangar and two homos chasing them, you should join in on a huge multiracial straight and gay beat down of the thieves. i’m with the cholo let’s have a big rainbow coalition of vigilantism. the only thing stopping this from happening is the high hipped pedigree of slavery making black people huge and the cry baby attitude of ivory towered white guilted mench liberal emasculated population of do nothing pusses parading around in hipster gear and commenting about how sad it all is on internet site because their minds are so poisoned by the aclu that theyve mistaken self defense and preservation for facism. grow a set of nuts.

    Have faith enough in humanity to know that decent black people hate these bitches as much as everyone else. or you can go read french subtitles for 3 hours and piss your pants when you get mugged on your way home from some not quite gentrified area of trendy new bars this weekend.”

    -Can’t wait to hear again from JJ,

    O Captain! My Captain! Rise up for you they call…

    Aye, Aye, Sir.

    -Reformed Somali Pirate Tantum Eruditi Sunt Liberi

  • Violent Youth Offender Registry NOW. Children in DC armed and dangerous. Shooting, killing, almost like it’s the fun and popular thing to do, Oh wait, it IS!!!

    The City Leadership in Las Vegas promoting Shopping Malls, and we get gang warfare on our streets. As if they could make a differnce, oh wait, they can. Pass some new tough laws, like if you get caught underage or anyage with a firearm in the city, you get the tank for a long long time. As it is now, it’s like a freakin’ video game, what are the adults to do when it seems like an endless stream of teenagers are packing heat?

    A culture of youth violence, what will it take to make a meaningful difference?


  • I’ve lived in and around these neighborhoods for the past 22 years and have seen them change drastically over the last 10. My feelings have gone from “damn, i’m scared to be in my own house” to “wow. this place is awesome, I’ll never leave” to now and news of people getting shot and killed…again. honestly, I’m TIRED and ready to get the fuck out of here. DC, I think it’s over between us. But please don’t take it personal, its me not you. Oh wait, it is you.

  • So we’ve got a lot of teenaged homicidal sociopaths running around. That’s one problem, and one with no attractive solution; the popular answer is to just declare them a lost cause and throw them all in jail until they grow out of it (20 years or so should do it).

    The other — arguably more important — problem is how to keep young kids from going feral in the first place. How do we stop the juvenile offender assembly line?

    The threat of jail won’t work, because it’s not working now; kids today grow up *expecting* to spend time in jail. Even the threat of violent death isn’t keeping kids away from the thug lifestyle.

    What’s the answer? No idea. But it would be nice if we put some effort into figuring out how to prevent the problem, rather than just treating the symptoms.

  • I’m at a loss also. I’ve lived at 14th and Col for 5 years. In the past 2 years, the amount of police presence is almost impressive. There are always cops around there, but it only takes 2 minutes for this shit to happen. I do think tougher penalties for juvies are necessary – get them off the street until jail time means something. Maybe even reform them with marketable skills.

    More importantly, we need to get into these nests. Pay for snitching. Flip people like the mob. Make it so criminal association revokes public housing support. There is an air of tolerance of violence that must be suppressed. It’s sick. That tree by where the guy got shot is covered in stuffed animals and memorials. Where is that concern before the act? Let’s just strap the bangers with stuffed animals before hand, so we know when to duck. It’s amazingly disgusting.

  • I’m with the batman idea. Something that’s enough to get these guys running scared. They know the police have to follow the laws – but someone who is more sociopathic than they are? Not afraid of any rules? Things would settle down.

  • Batman is a comic-book character. Vigilantism would only give MPD another problem to deal with. The only solution is long-term: ridding DC of the politicians whose only concerns are corporate development and securing reelection.

  • I actually reported the shots at 12th and Delafield – it was more like 9 shots. That was my second 911 call of day – kept looking for the full moon. The first was when I heard a woman screaming for her life at around 2:00 in the afternoon. I ran down my alley, but didn’t see anything – still the screaming. Then I saw a loose pit bull in Hamilton rec. Cops showed up a few seconds later – about 6 cars plus ambulanace and fire truck. Heard later on the radio that two women and a boy were taken to the hospital after a pit bull attack.

    I don’t know what scares me more idiots with guns or idiots with pit bulls.

  • cupcake said:
    “I don’t know what scares me more idiots with guns or idiots with pit bulls.”

    NEWSFLASH: They are one in the same people. Noone in their right mind owns a pitbull. Especially with kids.

  • We (people who read this blog) want two things: justice and safety. The cry for Batman is a cry for those two things.

    Kids who are involved in gangs want an identity–love, acceptance, respect, purpose. They are not that different from you, actually. But they have fewer options of where to get those things. They don’t have real parents and therefore lack love. This makes them more needy for acceptance and respect from their peers–needy enough to do just about anything for their approval, like carry a gun, kill, rob at gunpoint. And without a larger purpose for their lives (taught AND modeled by parents or parent-figures), they have no reason not to enter the cycle of drugs>violence>prison.

    Tougher prison sentences or tougher police enforcement is a banal approach to fixing this problem. Kids NEED an identity, and no punishment can be scary enough to remove that need from them. If gangbanger is the only identity available to them, they will take it no matter the cost.

    Batman, even though we can all identify with that desire for safety and justice, is at best a childish whim that betrays a laziness or despair about actually trying to solve the problem.

    The problem has its deepest root in the absence of family/parents/love. If you want to be a part of the solution (as a volunteer, or from a policy perspective), you need to start thinking about how to encourage, restore, or replace parents/family where they are broken or non-existent.

    I’m not offering clear, practical solutions. I’m just saying, don’t waste your time or energy on other things–focus on families/parents/love. That’s where the cycle begins.

  • Advent: you are now part of the problem, not the solution. All this “everybody-just-needs-a-hug” liberal nonsense has been tried and failed miserably in DC for, what, 40 years now? Time for a different approach.

  • Advent, tougher punishment? Do you think the kid who has been riding his minibike up and down the alleys for the last week firing off his pistol really fears any punishment? First, he knows that M.P.D. has basically abdicated authority of the streets north of the tourist areas to the thugs like him. The chances he’ll be caught are zero. He, like the rest of us, never sees M.P.D. and knows that the cowed population of scared old people and guilty white people ain’t gonna do anything either. M.P.D. and Lanier are worthless. Robberies alone shot up 25% last year under her watch. They are the worst metropolitan police agency in the country – a national joke – and the joke’s on you taxpayer. Spend a day in New York City and you’ll wake up to what real policing means. Second, if he’s under 17 he knows that he can rob and harass to his heart’s content and he’ll face no punishment even if he robs a donut shop and happens to get caught by the M.P.D. officers hiding in there. He’ll be released right back into the environment that spawned his criminal butt. He knows full well that a kid in D.C. who has robbed and beaten someone is likely to be released within 48 hours to his “family”. He’ll be told by well-meaning social workers like you that he’d better behave and then the doors will swing open. Unless and until he finally kills someone and if (a very big “if”) he gets caught he might be tried as an adult and even then he’ll likely only get a few years. Trying to “understand” the psychic boo-boos that made somebody a criminal isn’t worth the effort. They’re lazy, ignorant, and mean. Who really cares how they got there? That does nothing to resolve the problem they present right now. You want to invest your time to help pump up the self-esteem of a population who already feels they can do whatever the hell they want whenever the hell they want and think THAT is the answer? Yeah right. If you look at the recidivism rates for violent criminals you can’t argue those facts. If they are robbing people at 12 or 13 they are going to be killing people at 18. Spend your weekends painting rainbows with that crowd and you’ll end up like the Spevaks with your throat cut and all of your equally clueless friends wondering how this ever could have happened. You might as well suggest we let the tigers out of the National Zoo and when they start eating people we’ll just need to “understand” the big kitties better. These boys had a rough childhood? JOIN THE FRICKEN CLUB. Why don’t you hand me your wallet Advent? I need it because my mommy dwin’t wove me. Oh these little angels are sooooooo poor, but suspiciously have enough cash for an iPod, a cell phone, Roca Wear, Jordans, a gold watch, and a HUGE PISTOL. I’m cooking ramen noodles up counting my pennies while these “underprivileged” children get freebies at school, from WIC, foodstamps, and when they get a little peckish after a hard day robbing and beating people, they sure seem to keep about a thousand and one take-outs busy into the night. Grow up my friend. Ain’t no criminal starving. He just takes and takes and takes – and your answer? WE ALL HAVE TO GIVE UP SOME MORE! HA! Isn’t it interesting how all these poor young boys really just want to get out of this vicious cycle of poverty, but when they are arrested with $10K or $15K in their pockets, strangely enough, none of them have a college tuition receipt in their pocket with all that cash? I also love how spoiled rich people talk about how it “feels” to be a criminal and how it’s only about “respect” et cetera. Save it for your novel, Pelecanos. Some people don’t have to guess how criminals think since we’ve spent our entire careers in law enforcement dealing with them and their pathetic excuses. Their excuses are almost, but not quite, as childish as these wonderful schemes you namby-pamby and irrational social engineers think up. First of all, WHO CARES how criminals feel. Second, it’s TOO LATE to do anything about somebody that is carrying a gun around and robbing people. Lock them up. Throw the keys away.

  • throw away the keys,


    i hope that was as good for you as it was for the rest of us…damn i need a cigarette now 🙂

  • Giving “respect” to the 18-year-old thugs that are ruining this city? Are you on crack, Advent?

  • “Throw away the keys”:

    I’m not going to engage in a digital shouting match with you, one because it’s silly, and two because I don’t think you’re interested in listening. But I would like to respond, in case anyone reads this conversation who is genuinely interested in the questions that an event like a gang shooting poses.

    Here’s what you said:
    “Trying to “understand” the psychic boo-boos that made somebody a criminal isn’t worth the effort. They’re lazy, ignorant, and mean. Who really cares how they got there? That does nothing to resolve the problem they present right now.”

    This is the point where we disagree most deeply. I don’t actually believe that there are any really great short-term solutions to the problem. And it seems that this is all you are interested in. Our incarceration rate is already the highest in the world and climbing. We spend $65 billion a year incarcerating people. That’s $23,876 per criminal per year. That’s a hell of a lot of money, with a theoretically limitless ceiling.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t send people to prison; I’m all for tough prison sentences and tough enforcement. BUT DON’T EXPECT IT TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM. Why, how, could you or anyone possibly think that simply incarcerating everyone who looks threatening forever would solve the problem? There is a sick cycle that is producing criminals by the thousands, and it is NOT going away.

    I am talking about trying to actually reduce the cause of the problem–that is, alter the cycle that is producing so many criminals. You say, “who really cares how they got there?” Well, anyone who actually wants a just and peaceful city should care.

    To clarify my argument: Kids who are born into a parentless world lack love, acceptance, and identity. Free lunch, foodstamps, and every other program designed by the govt. to help poor people fails to provide the love and discipline that kids need. By the time they are 10 years old, they become dangerous because they are willing to do almost anything in order to gain the love and acceptance they have missed. Gangs offer one of the easiest ways for them to “belong” to something, so they often take that route.

    I’m just saying that if we want prevent children from becoming dangerous criminals, someone has to figure out a way to get into their world while they are still young and begin playing the role that a good parent would provide. Kids who are loved and disciplined by their parents don’t need gang membership in order to have an identity when they hit adolescence.

    On a more personal note, maybe you should consider leaving DC if you are really so angry and so uninterested in long-term solutions.

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