Reports of a Major Gunfight in Park View

IMG_3468, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I got two very similar sounding emails. First from the Lamont & Georgia Area:

“In the last 30 minutes – multiple volleys, 60+ initial shots. Major police / fire / ambulance response.”

Second from the Warder and Newton Area:

“Around 9:45pm this evening, I heard a number of what sounded to be gunshots (I have a hard time telling… there were fireworks going off in the neighborhood as well tonight). It sounded pretty intense, with some squealing tires following and tons of emergency services sirens shortly thereafter. I also heard some my neighbors’ kids outside screaming, “Someone got shot!” Perhaps you can verify and/or shed some light?”

I haven’t seen any police reports but will update as soon as I do. Did anyone else hear/see this incident?


“There is now a police or news helicopter circling the area. My neighbor indicated that a black SUV right outside our building at the 3500 block of Warder has 3 bullet holes in it and that the gunfight initially began on Quebec Place, NW. Likely related is an overturned car near Georgia Ave. ”

This has just been a brutal day…

185 Comment

  • Ugh.. Go away helicopter. I can’t sleep. I truly hope that isn’t a police helicopter looking for suspects as it took them about 45 minutes to respond. Man – there was a lot of gunfire.

  • I also live in the 3500 block of Warder St. There’s an overturned Mercedes Benz at the corner of Otis Pl. & Park Pl. Neighborhood kid told me the car chase began on Warder St. from at least Newton Pl. (with shots fired at the SUV in front of Park View Elementary School), then proceeded down to Quebec St., finally heading south down Park Pl. I also heard at least 15 gunshots somewhere north of Otis Pl.

  • If you’re going to rumble, do it when the entire city’s emergency response system is preoccupied.

  • Martial Law please. Clean and sterilize my neighborhood. Very, very tired of these idiots who are the scourge of humanity and not worth a damn.

  • Welfare mom on Quebec Place who lets her children smoke pot and run wild in the streets all night long every night hit in leg with bullet, expected to survive.

    Innocent man driving by during altercation hit with bullet, crashes car, dies at hospital.

    Mayor Fenty was in Park View last month and acted very rudely to residents who told him the neighborhood was moving in the wrong direction. Insisted they didn’t know what they were talking about.

  • Desensitization works in strange ways. Years ago I would have been certain what I heard was gunfire. Last night when I heard the first two cracks I thought it possibly gunfire, but dismissed the subsequent roaring barrage as firecrackers–it was just too rapidfire to be otherwise.

    Sixty (or more) in about 5 seconds? Who has that kind of firepower? It must be fireworks. [later on] Oh, a helicopter. Must have been bullets. A LOT of bullets.

  • I live on Quebec Place, NW a few steps from Warder. As I sat in my bay window, I heard about 20 shots pinging off of houses, cars, and trees. (WIth reports of only 2 people being shot, I think we are extremely lucky.)

    I cannot believe the circling helicopter is the right approach to finding these gunfighters and protecting residents.

    DC better come up with a better strategy–fast.

  • It’s time for a civil rights march to rid your neighborhood of this human filth. They are the Klan and you are the marchers. Bull Connor lives in Section 8 housing and sends his 17 year old out instead of deputies.

  • DC better come up with a better strategy

  • As much as I hate to admit it as a proud Petworth citizen, Anonymous 809am makes a damn good point.

  • The times are changing. Give it time. Despite the pessimists, the neighborhoods are changing and crime is going to decrease. Eventually, the projects and crackhouses will close and the crime will go with them. It’s only a matter of time. The conversations like those in blogs like this one are happening more and more frequently (almost on a daily basis at this point), and we the taxpayers won’t stand for it. You can sense that it seems to be reaching a boiling point.

    Regarding the “GTFO” comment, crime is not a foregone conclusion with living in the city! Look at Europe! Heck, look at Georgetown. Eventually, hard-working professionals will make up the majority in Columbia Heights and Petworth just like in Georgetown. Just keep up the hope. Things are chaging and they will continue to do so.

  • I’m not proud of it, but I’m not ashamed of it, either — anon @8:09 just described me to a T. I still read the old neighborhood blogs, but I appreciate MoCo more every day. Gunshots should NOT be a normal thing to expect to hear where you live, regardless of where that may be.

  • Anon @ 8:32, I think you’re wrong (kind of hope you’re right, though) when you say eventually public housing and nuisance properties will be gone. What our neighborhoods are experiencing is not the straight market-driven gentrification of the 1980s, but rather a kinder, gentler gentrification that welcomes the development and encourages corporate/higher income tax revenues while promising no displacement, guided in no small part by the not-so-invisible hand of the DC city government. Govt largely has encouraged development through putting previously abandoned properties back in play, and placed covenants on the development of those parcels. So some of these spots may go away when people cash out or grandma gets too old to keep up with life in the city, but all the tax protections, etc. in place are going to go a long way to making sure that people who want to stay can. And as the recent re-development of the 3500 14th Street property shows, they’re not reluctant to put the money into subsidized housing. I guess it all depends on your time horizon, but it was at least 8 years ago when I first saw Craigslist ads touting the “soon to be” new Columbia Heights neighborhood, and … well, you see what’s gone down this week even with all that great development. After 5 years, I quit holding my breath.

  • Hellooooo Bethesda!

  • There were shots fired on Shepherd between 5th and NH around 2:30am. Five or so. No tires squealing, or voices heard, and police responded within a minute. Two cars were hit by the bullets and being towed away this morning. Maybe related?

  • Sooner or later, half of us will give up this fight. The other half will still be here calling for increased police protection, stronger gun laws, and more rec centers.

    I will call attention to Devyn Black, the shooter at CH last week. Assuming he gets convicted, he will be leaving behind a young child. That is assuming he was playing a role in raising the child in the first place. This is no self cleaning oven folks. These people are continuously breeding with each other and creating the next generation. More rec centers, police protection and stronger gun laws are no solution to a problem that starts long before a child is even born.

  • Where are all those “Pro-lifers” who fight so passionately against birth control NOW? They wanted these children to be born. Do they not see what happens when children are born to mothers who are still children themselves? Do they not see what happens when children are raised in an environment that is not ready for them?

  • And why was Devyn Black on the street in the first place?

    Police have said Black belonged to a gang or crew. Court records show Black was arrested last year for simple assault, carrying a pistol without a license, and failure to register a firearm.

    All three charges were dismissed or dropped by prosecutors, court records show.

    I don’t see the point of bothering to arrest these guys in the first place if witnesses refuse to come forward and prosecuters end up dropping all the charges.

  • You won’t stand for it? It appears like you damn sure will.

    Just last week YOUR council member Mendelson killed any hope for an effective gang strategy after he’d already killed (once again, for several years running) any hope of legislating consequences for carrying a loaded gun.

    Currently, there are no serious consequences for being a repeat gun offender – other than getting a taxpayer-funded “job” with a council member like the shooter in Columbia Heights. The two people shot last week by CM Graham’s taxpayer-funded “intern” (including one innocent bystander) would not have been shot if we had a mandatory penalty for carrying a loaded weapon since the “intern” had been caught carrying before (at least once). Rather than getting a taxpayer handout “job” he’d have been behind bars where he belongs. Whether you believe a stiff mandatory penalty would deter others or not, the fact remains that such a penalty would have deterred this thug because he would have been locked up instead of allowed to randomly shoot people during the day.

    I’m sure this latest shoot-out in Park View will lead to the usual, laughable extremes of “they just need hugs” to “round ’em up, clear the projects.” Bottom line is, whether you just want to sweet talk the criminal or lynch the criminal, neither idea is a solution that amounts to anything more than you blathering about something that will never happen.

    The mandatory minimum bills have been written. They’ve been pending bills for the last few years – even Marion Barry supported a mandatory. But they’ve been systematically killed every session by that cynical coward Mendelson who only seems to care about placating a certain part of the electorate who insists that there be no consequences for any crime. He does this in a vain attempt to remain in his seat, cashing taxpayer-funded paychecks, while he slinks safely back up Wisconsin Ave every day and lets the bullets fly east of the park. He laughs at you. You let CM Mendelson, the chair of the “public safety” committee (talk about irony), piss down your leg at every opportunity at tell you it’s just the rain you must expect when living in DC.

    Wake up people. With no consequences for carrying a weapon, how is it you are continually shocked when a repeat offender finally, accidentally, shoots straight and hits a target? Practice makes perfect, after all. And you, every one of you, that allows the city to continue to coddle and release gun criminals has no one else to blame.

    “Won’t stand for it.”

    Ha. Ha. Ha.

    I begged you people to get involved. I begged you to pay attention to the legislation that was pending. I begged you to write Mendelson and Bowser. I begged you to show up at the meetings. Prince gives plenty of space for real action and real solutions to be discussed and organization to happen. But no. You’d rather just write fantasies on a blog.

    Meanwhile Mendelson continues to cash his paycheck and live the swell life in upper NW.

  • “Regarding the

  • Shots fired at 5th and Shepherd would be consistent with the back and forth that was going on 2 years ago between a Taylor street crew and a Park View crew, so get ready for 4 or 5 rounds of this for the next month or so.

    I hope nobody advocates for more rec centers in this part of the city until the city can get control of who is hanging out at the current rec centers. The Park View rec center is a hub of criminal activity. That, along with this block of Quebec, and the 800 block of Princeton Place, and a few more spots have been the focus of meetings with MPD for 2 years now.

    This violence cannot be pinned on MPD, though. The last month they have really really stepped up patrols and things actually seemed to be improving. They need to keep this up. However, our city govt needs to get it together. Fentys crime bill and Mendelsons crime bill is like comparing Kleenex to Charmin, they are both soft. In Grahams defense he is always proposing thougher penalties but Mendelson throws out the red-harrings and Graham backs down. These are the people we should be bombarding with emails and comments that are on this message board. They need to know we are not going to accept this anymore.

  • Nate, you’re a racist and PoP should remove your comment. To answer your idiocy, apparently you’ve never heard of Manor Park or Shepherd Park, both in NW D.C, almost entirely African American and peaceful.

    Now get thee to a Klan rally.

  • As for Mr. Black being charged with CPWL, that is a bullshit law that is essentially gamed by the gangsters. My lawyer worked on the Supreme Court case that overturned DC’s gun ban. He told me last week that more cases are dismissed, plead down or no conviction.

    The gov’t can’t prove what is in someone’s head. That is the central tenet to convict someone on CPWL. That person must have the KNOWLEDGE. So if Mr. Black was riding in his friend’s car and they are pulled over and charged with CPWL, all he has to say is I didn’t know it was in there. Unless the gun was in his waistband, how could the gov’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt prove he KNEW the gun was in the car. Trust me, it happens all the time. The guy (Senator Webb’s aide) that carried a gun in the Senate building got off the same way!

    But this is what happens when you pass laws that don’t address the root of the problem. The gangsters exploit them. Leaving us law abiding citizens to live by the law of the outlaws.

  • Odentex–

    your rant about where Devyn Black would be were it not for Mendelson fails for one big reason: even if there were mandatory penalties for possession, they would first require a CONVICTION. Devyn Black was arrested for possession of a firearm, and the charges were dismissed. So even if there was the death penalty for possession of a firearm, Devyn Black would still have been walking the streets last Thursday.

  • I just called the Post’s Metro desk, spoke with a reporter and asked him why the Post carried no mention of this incident, with 20-60 shots fired. He had no idea what I was talking about.
    So I described the incident and referred him to He assured me that the Post will get on the story and find out what it can.

    Fenty has no intention of discussing this incident. Yesterday’s awful Metro tragedy appears to be affording him that luxury.

  • When can we declare hunting season on these animals?

  • Many of you gentrifiers are racist, especially you nate. Please move back to Nebraska.

    it’s hilarious that when gentrifiers move into a neighborhood that’s rough and expect it to clean up just because they are there. The roughness of these areas are needed to keep YOU out in the first place. Keep you moving, keep the property taxes low, and keep the culture in the city.

  • J.Con. Says:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Nate, you

  • Nate: Laws can be changed. There is absolutely no problem with re-writing the possession of a weapon law to avoid those problems. Such suggestions exist and it’s only a matter of getting the council to support law-abiding, taxpayers over the part of the electorate that doesn’t want to punish crime. Which, BTW, you often advocate since you can’t seem to follow the law either. So excuse me if I take your “expert” opinion on the matter with a grain of salt since you are, quite frankly, a big part of the problem. It’s very hard to take someone seriously when they so bitterly complain about criminals on one hand, and flagrantly violate the law on the other by carrying a gun around.

    It’s the nice way of saying that you are full of shit.

  • Ever go to Pinnellas Park, FL? 100% white red-necks up to their ears in gun violence and drugs. There are many ways we can draw lines between people: race, income, sex. This can confuse you from seeing the real root of the problem.

    If anyones interested Mayor Fenty will be in Park View tomorrow at 4pm (PV rec center) as a follow up to his tour last month – where, as it is stated above, he was extremely rude and dismissive to me because I didn’t agree that everything was as peachy as he was pretending it was.

  • 1. J.Con. – Nate is black and comments, though you may deal them controversial and even offensive are well thought out and reasoned. You would do well to read and consider them. All points of argument on these issues are worth hearing, which is the point of the PoP page…I think,

    2. Can we go Baisiji on these little thuggs asses? I would so love to be able to give these punks the beat down they deserve.

  • Damn Odentex. If they won’t abide by the laws we have on the books now, what makes you think a different law will be effective? That just defies logic.

    Devyn Black, a 19yo, already has a baby in the pipeline ready to replace him. Odds are, Devyn’s baby mama is one of the welfare queens we see in CHV or cursing loudly on the trains. SO what kind of child do you think will come out of that environment? Likely, a child whose daddy and mother taught him to handle conflict with his fists and eventually a gun as he gets older. Laws don’t/can’t supersede child rearing.

    It doesn’t take a law for me not to kill someone. Or rob someone. Or shoot someone. Laws are meant as punishment when your moral compass doesn’t keep you from living within what society deems as acceptable. In other words, they are a reaction.

  • We heard the shots last night as well, called 911, and were put on hold for a few minutes before getting a dispatcher. Heard sirens, a LOT of sirens, literally seconds, maybe 20 seconds after the gunshots. The helicopter showed up really late, like half an hour later.

    Summer in DC, east of the park. Anyone digging foxholes in your backyards yet?

  • # Nate Says:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Well there are very few black people in G

  • Watch this youtube clip and see what we are up against.

  • Anonymous @ 9:37: You’d rather have a fantasy about beating up “thugs” then actually take the time to insist that your council enact consequences for crime?

    Jim: This 19 year old’s prior record in unclear at best. While Fox reports that the latest 3 charges were dismissed last year other sources (a TV story on the NBC affiliate, in particular) suggest that he is a felon and had been arrested at least 4 times. So, if you have access to Superior Court records and want to confirm the number of convictions than be my guest. If he had juvenile convictions, good luck finding that out.

    Further, this dismissal only illustrates another serious problem we have in DC: no prosecutor accountability. The local prosecutor needs to be an elected official, not an underfunded, poorly supervised, withered arm of the US Attorney. There is a bill pending in Congress, and in 2002 the District overwhelmingly voted to have a local prosecutor, but recent inquiries to Del. Norton have resulted in silence. No doubt she’s too busy trying to figure out how she can get the vote so she can really cash in.

    If you have a problem with holding gun criminals responsible for their actions with actual consequences I’d suggest a more direct tact.

  • Couldn’t sleep because of the helicopters (yet again), but was ok with it because I assumed they were for the Metro rescue. Now, finding out what they were really there for, UGH.

    Called cops on kids dealing in my alley last night (1-3a). Nobody ever showed (‘cept junkies looking to score). Called again. Apparently nobody cared.

  • This current crop of bad teenagers is not what we should be focussed on. Every vulnerable six year old in DC (I

  • POP – I think you need a rant or rave about the DC jobs program. Not that these two are connected, but I can certainly see why the neighborhood is pissed off when we’re providing 22,000, likely do nothing but get paid jobs, at the expense of taxpayers, like those in Parkview, who end up with the entire neighborhood in mass chaos and disaray on a Monday night at 10 pm.

    We are incredibly lucky that more people in the neighborhood and no innocent bystanders were killed last night.

  • “Bethesda and SS are towns made up of neighborhoods. SP and MP are neighborhoods

  • Peace March?! Transparency and accountability! Gun Offender Registry! Violent Youth Offender Registry NOW! The DC Council needs to act to rid our city of this horrible terror. Daily gunbattles between teenagers, dropping charges against gun-toting children. Innocents struck. Hardworking taxpaying citizens black and white terrorized by out-of-control-children. It’s just unf’in believeable how bad it’s gotten. I mean really….

    And why is it that so many serious charges against violent youth offenders are constantly dropped? I was a victim and the 14-yr old punk got away scot-free. It seems it’s more the norm than not. When will it change? When?

    Again, I say, secret private citizen detective force with police liase, digital cameras throughout the worst of it, member-only intelligence gathering on the worst of the worst punk thugs. Is it worth the risk, hell naw….

  • Non-sequitur Nate. Odentex is talking about incapacitation, not deterrence. In our opinion, you should still be in prison for CPWL, just like Devyn Black should be in for the first time he got caught.

    Odentex, I think changing laws like CPWL is 100 percent the right and necessary move, but even assuming you can move the council, what do you propose for constant prosecutorial incompetence and for the family court and district judges who refuse to lay the hammer on young men in ADW cases? Apparently Devyn Black was charged one count ADW for last week’s shooting? Maybe that will be amended, but in MoCo or N.VA they would have piled enough (totally legitimate) charges on a brazen mid-day shooter to get to 20 years to life, standard procedure.

    Still, its incremental progress while we all wait for the entire Barry generation to retire from city government

  • I have been in daily contact with Jim Graham’s office, either Graham himself who I’ve “known” for about 10 years or Ted Loza or sometimes some assistant.

    Everyone here needs to be in daily contact with your councilmember’s office.

    You need to tell Graham or whoever exactly what’s going on.

  • Again, I say, secret private citizen detective force with police liase, digital cameras throughout the worst of it, member-only intelligence gathering on the worst of the worst punk thugs. Is it worth the risk, hell naw

  • oldmanclem – SNITCH!!!!

  • @Anon 9:31: Nate is a wacko, but you are a moron.

    “The roughness of these areas are needed to keep YOU out in the first place. Keep you moving, keep the property taxes low, and keep the culture in the city.”

    I challenge you to find ANYONE – white, black, rich or poor, who LIKES living in a “culture” of poverty, gang violence, and crime.

    Yeah right. People in crappy neighborhoods are killing each other in order to keep gentrifiers out and preserve their “culture.” I’m entirely sure that’s what is on the mind of a 15 year old boy when the blood is draining from his body due to a bullet put in them by another black kid. “At least the property taxes are staying low.”

    That’s about the most idioitic, ignorant thing I’ve ever read here.

  • I begged you people to get involved. I begged you to pay attention to the legislation that was pending. I begged you to write Mendelson and Bowser. I begged you to show up at the meetings.

    I did all of the above but show up at the meeting.

  • Anon. 9:31 said, “it

  • Many of you gentrifiers are racist, especially you nate.

    I am very proud of my beliefs. You can call me names, but what I state is the truth is the TRUTH and what you state is a LIE.

  • @ Anonymous9:55: It’s bad enough I have to subsidize their rent, utilities, and food, now you want me to raise their kids too? Great deal.

  • Anonymous 10:10 – How dare you call someone a snitch for calling the cops on the drug dealers in his alley!

  • Like I said. Fifty different directions – mandatory mentoring? Really? What planet are you on? How about expecting the bare minimum from every citizen – like not carrying around firearms to settle every dispute (and catch bystanders in the crossfire).

    This isn’t rocket science, it only requires that you focus on REALITY rather than pie-in-the-sky non-solutions. The bills have already been written. These laws are in place in hundreds of jurisdictions around the nation where these problems have been addressed. Discussions about re-inventing the wheel, burning down the projects, hugging every criminal, are all WASTES OF TIME.

    How about calling your goddamn council member and demanding that the anti-gang legislation and mandatory punishments for gun crimes that CM Mendelson opposes be enacted immediately? How about sending an e-mail to Bowser, Fenty and the rest of them? How about attending a meeting where you can tell them what must be done?

    Nope. Y’all would rather talk about mandatory mentoring daydreams, fantasize about “beating them up”, or discuss eugenics with Nate.

  • I kind of like this tactic:

    Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said he’ll continue to tell officers they can’t assume people are carrying guns legally in a city that has seen nearly 200 homicides in the past two years.

    “My message to my troops is if you see anybody carrying a gun on the streets of Milwaukee, we’ll put them on the ground, take the gun away and then decide whether you have a right to carry it,” Flynn said. “Maybe I’ll end up with a protest of cowboys. In the meantime, I’ve got serious offenders with access to handguns. It’s irresponsible to send a message to them that if they just carry it openly no one can bother them.”

  • A lot of black folks in DC hate the crime, hate the violence, hate the drug dealing, hate the murders, hate the shootings. However, they hate the police and the government more, for obvious historical reasons. Illogical? Maybe. True. Absolutely.

  • Odentex – Amen to getting rid of Phil Mendelson in the next election!!! He is the biggest single obstacle to real crime prevention and PUNISHMENT legislation in DC. If the shots were flying in upper NW/Wisconsin Ave., he’d be singing a different tune on “civil rights”, but since its just us poor folks east of 16th who are in the line of fire, the thugs’ rights must be protected at all costs.

  • “How about expecting the bare minimum from every citizen – like not carrying around firearms to settle every dispute”

    Never ever gonna happen unless the kids are taught otherwise, before they reach the age of 11-12-13.

    No amount of outsourcing this problem to police and prosecutors for those we’ve already lost can turn around a culture.

    If not mandatory mentoring, fine, something else that intervenes in the lives of the six and seven year olds being raised in this culture. What you’re talking about is reactionary, and really doesn’t do a damn thing to end the cycle. Gang injunctions? Locking teens up? Enforcing gun laws? You’ll see a short term blip of peace until the next crop of teens come up. The culture won’t change.

  • “Odentex is talking about incapacitation, not deterrence. In our opinion, you should still be in prison for CPWL, just like Devyn Black should be in for the first time he got caught.”
    True. Devyn would be incapacitated. But he has a child in the pipeline to replace him. Maybe more. There are thousands of Devyn’s. My neighbor has two kids by the age of 19.

    It is inconceivable to think that we can build enough prisons to incarcerate all these people. W already have the highest rates of incarceration in the world. Who is willing to pay the overwhelming tax burden? It would be cheaper for people to just move somewhere safer while effectively policing the bad areas. And that is how we have chosen to respond.

    How many years would you want to give a first offender for CPWL? 10 yrs? 25 years? The prison system would choke at that point.

  • Wow. What a tragic day yesterday. I moved farther north into Petworth (New Hampshire and Allison, beautiful neighborhood) only a week ago… Otherwise I would have been on the corner of Princeton and park view. Scary stuff.

  • “If the shots were flying in upper NW/Wisconsin Ave., he

  • “So if Mr. Black was riding in his friend

  • This current crop of bad teenagers is not what we should be focussed on. Every vulnerable six year old in DC (I

  • Neener: Good on you. But that’s two people I know of, including myself. This spring when I tried to get involved I basically forced Mendelson to have a meeting in 4D which PoP graciously publicized on this blog. 3 people showed up that weren’t the CM’s toadies, ANC’s or other people vested in the status quo.


    Later when my work responsibilities made it impossible to keep up with the pending legislation, of course, the reasonable gun penalties vanished from the bill. I’d go in to greater detail about all the time I wasted and the different agencies, courts, and others I stirred up – but I’m basically done with it. People in this town are pathetically apathetic, more than anywhere I’ve ever been. It’s fucking sad. They’d rather talk about what after-school program or summer job scheme might “work” than insist on basic public safety.

    I’d like to think there are more people than just you and I that could bother to spend a few hours pressing council to make our streets safer from gun criminals, but experience has taught me otherwise. Most people would rather waste time formulating fantasy mentoring programs (I mean, WTF? you can’t attend a meeting even! What a JOKE).

    These crimes have accomplices. These accomplices can be seen in every mirror you look in. You want to know why shoppers have to duck from gunfire on the streets of Columbia Heights? It’s because YOU couldn’t be bothered to demand that council, the US Atty, the judges, and MPD do their jobs.

    You want to know why Bethesda, SS, and Georgetown aren’t like this? Because those people won’t allow it. Mendelson would never let his neighborhood be like this.

    I’m done pissing in the wind. You people must like it this way.

  • nate, what they do in upper NW is called “parenting”. It’s also called “community involvement”. In Friendship Heights, your nextdoor neighbor knows you and your kids well and is empowered to yell at and discipline (to a limit) your kids as well as their own if they see them acting up. Parents take a very active role in their kids lives’, schools, friends, activities. They teach them that crime is bad, drug dealing should be done in bedrooms and school halls, not the streets, and disputes should be solved with lawyers, not guns. A lot of this comes from having disposable income.

    The culture is different in impoverished neighborhoods in DC, and it is the culture that needs to be changed, not the criminal code. Get at the children, not the teens. The teens and their uninvolved parents or criminal parents are a lost cause.

  • Anon 10:18: First, the “Culture” is changing. You can see that in every young black guy in Chinatown who is wearing skinny jeans and carrying a skateboard instead of a wearing a Tall T and carrying the drooping ass of his own clown pants. Second, if you’re interested in intervening in the lives of six and seven year olds, I suggest free quality boarding school outside of DC for any child who wants it, or any child of anyone found to be an unfit parent by the family court. No more than 8 non-consecutive weeks home per year. Pie in the sky – yes, but that is what it would take to give the kids a chance complete removal from their own families.

  • If I as a parent of one of these children

  • Culture does not require violence. A neighborhood can be very safe and still retain its culture. Black people living in cheap housing cannot possibly agree that loosing a teenager every now and then is the price they willingly pay to keep boring white people out of their neighborhood.

    People in the neighborhood decide what kind of neighborhood it will be. If you want your neighborhood to be interesting and safe, volunteer at an after school program, help show teenagers they have a future that doesn’t involve violence. And don’t hate people who are trying to do this work.

    Non-violent people should all stand up against violence. Skin color and history are irrelevant. Do you want your children to be safe and have a chance to be themselves in this world? We must find our allies wherever we can. Many people of many histories care about America’s children. And we don’t want them to grow up in boring suburbs. People (whatever their race or history) choose live in the inner cities because they love living in such a vibrant community.

  • Odentex – of course I have fantasies about getting medieval on these thugs. Of course I would never ever act on those fantasies. What I have done is taking to yelling at the kids getting high in the stairwell of the foreclosure next door. Telling the local dealer that I am watching him and will drop a dime. If he wants to take a pot shot at me fine.
    I have called and written my council member and that moron Mendelssohn. And have never heard anything from them – nothing. Let

  • Now, we’re talking, actual ideas that could work, rather than just reactionary penal system comments:

    suggest free quality boarding school outside of DC for any child who wants it, or any child of anyone found to be an unfit parent by the family court. No more than 8 non-consecutive weeks home per year. Pie in the sky – yes, but that is what it would take to give the kids a chance complete removal from their own families.

  • GSG: Sure, and he was charged, but the law requires “knowingly.” There are not many prosecutors willing to try to prosecute that crime, and for good reason. When you have four guys in a car and one gun, and no one will claim the gun and each guy says he didn’t know it was there, the prosecutor has about a zero percent chance of proving “knowingly” beyond a reasonable doubt. Even the new gun in car law is worthless for that reason. Its a waste of resources to try to prosecute if you can’t flip one of the guys.

  • “nate, what they do in upper NW is called

  • Can the people who have written to their councilmembers maybe provide a template letter to this blog? I dont want to sound lazy, but I do know that if a template message requesting the enactment of anti-gang legislation and mandatory punishment for gun crimes is made available to this blog, many people will be more likely to simply pass the message on to their councilmember….and then we can bombard them with messages to act.

  • How about a free quality boarding school on Adak Island Alaska?

  • What they don’t have in upper NW is subsidized housing. Stop subsidizing them in PW and CH and the problem will go far far away.

  • You can’t mentor criminals and you can’t raise other people’s children. I applaud anyone who wants to volunteer or work with children, but let’s be honest, even children have to want to be helped – and some just don’t. Children that will rise above and benefit from mentoring will almost always rise above despite you because it’s in their nature.


    You might believe it does. It might appeal to your progressive world view. But people who have grown up poor (i.e. like having the power turned off, not having a winter coat, being forced to move to Texas) believe just as strongly that poverty is a bad excuse.

    Both beliefs are a bad basis for policy. How about some facts? While it’s accepted conventional wisdom that poverty=crime there is no evidence of this, and in fact, there is good recent evidence to the contrary. Poverty in NYC remained the same throughout the tremendous (75%) crime crash of the 1990’s-2000’s. The same. Equating a correlation between poverty and crime because a high % of defendants are poor is the same as correlating crime with being a black male. You may find statistics to support correlation but that correlation does not equal causation. It doesn’t mean one caused the other. There is a % of people that are going to commit crime (rich and poor, Bernie Madoff, anyone? Jeff Skilling?). Of those people there is another, smaller %, that will always commit violent crime. The best you can do is incapacitate these people and remove effective tools for their violence – like handguns – from the scene as much as possible.

    Mentoring may be a good deed. Mentoring may help some people have a better life (and make you feel better about yourself), but as a crime prevention scheme it’s utterly and completely unproven. Incapacitation? Not so much.

  • Odentex– i’m all for mandatory punishments for repeated convictions for carrying guns, but using Devyn Black as the Willie Horton for this issue doesn’t make sense since as best we can tell, he hasn’t previously been convicted for a gun crime. there’s tons of other examples out there of people with prior convictions being back in court with another gun charge, and i agree–there should be harsh penalties for subsequent convictions.

    GSG– you might want to review the law of constructive possession before your law exam. as much as i hate to utter these words, nate is right– the government has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a defendant’s KNOWLEDGE that the contraband is there and an INTENT to control that contraband. for example, this is the NJ jury instruction on constructive possession:

    A person who, with knowledge of its character, knowingly has direct physical control over a thing, at a given time, is in actual possession of it.
    Constructive possession means possession in which the person does not physically have the property, but though not physically on one’s person, (he/she) is aware of the presence of the property and is able to exercise intentional control or dominion over it.
    A person who,although not in actual possession, has knowledge of its character, knowingly has both the power and the intention at a given time to exercise control over a thing, either directlyor through another person or persons, is then in constructive possession if it.

    so if you are the driver or owner of a car in which contraband is found, or the person closest to where the contraband was found in the car, you might be able to get a conviction for constructive possession based on the circumstantial evidence. but just being in a car where contraband is found is not sufficient.

  • i’m new to the area. and i’m too excited about my new city and all that it has to offer. i refuse to continue to live next door to murderers (and those who attempt), and i refuse to continue to watch drug use/deals and people beating one another to within an inch of their lives.

    i recently moved here from cleveland, and i have to say, i am quite disappointed so far with the way this city handles things. mainly those in authoritative positions. but i noticed something unusual (to me) after the CH shooting on Thursday…
    in all of the cities that i have lived in, the businesses would shut down for the rest of the day and really focus their attention on what had just occurred. not here. just about 1.5hrs after the shooting, i walked past Five Guys, and there were lots of people eating as if nothing had ever happened. i believe there needs to be some attention.

    i like that MATT G suggested a template. i’d be for that, but what i personally really need: names and contact info of my district people. please and thanks!

  • There were far less than 60 shots. There were probably at least 20 though. It was at least two people unloading full clips of semi automatic handguns. this is the second time on the same block in last 4-6 months.

  • is someone seriously arguing that poverty and violent crime aren’t correlated? how many shootings take place in a given week in bethesda? or any rich neighobrhood in the country?

  • “Mentoring may be a good deed. Mentoring may help some people have a better life (and make you feel better about yourself), but as a crime prevention scheme it

  • Jim,
    you can’t get anything through to Odentex. Here is another good example. Let’s say you rent a car and subsequently get pulled over. The car has a gun in a concealed compartment or under the seat. Should that person be tried and convicted for CPWL? He didn’t knowingly have possession of the gun. Most reasonable people would say no. Some on this board are so willing to scapegoat the gun, they are willing to say yes.

    That is why this law is simply gamed by the criminals. The Devyn Blacks of the world will exploit these loopholes. The only way for a surefire conviction is catching someone with a gun in the commission of a crime or on his person.

  • Correlation =| causation. Poverty does not necessarily a criminal make.

    I’d actually be more convinced that the reverse is true: the criminal life makes poverty. Folks who sling rock and live the thug life tend not to put on ties and try and work their way out of the mail room.

  • “Say what you want, but I don

  • Anonymous @ 10:33: Oh yes, fantasies about boarding schools are so much more productive than “reactionary” calls for people to follow the law!! What makes you think taking the same dysfunctional students to the woods will make a difference? Why not attempt to make the schools they already have better? It’s interesting that all the “progressive” solutions anticipate that all poor people are apt to be criminals if they don’t get help from the rest of us who are obviously much smarter and have all the solutions. This is not a problem of poverty, it’s a problem of self-satisfied social engineers with more good intentions than facts. This is a problem of law enforcement and crime prevention. Conflating the two is counterproductive.

  • the anon @ 9:55 is literally a copy-paste comment from a week ago, and I’m pretty sure it has been copy-pasted before. can’t these types of replies be prevented or at least removed? it is no different than spam.

  • Oy. I live there and I thought it was fireworks too!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sorry I meant to write I live NEAR there and I thought it was fireworks, too.

  • Anonymous @ 11:12:

    “Mentoring prevents crime. Fact. Truth. Period.” and then “The reason mentoring doesn

  • once again:

    my i have names and contact info for my (columbia heights) councilmen, etc. i’m new, i have lots to say already, and i need pointed in the right direction!

  • Jim Says: “i

  • @Anon 11:25

    to find your council member:

    And I’m still waiting on the letter template too. Anyone on that?

  • @ Anonymous 11:12:

    “Mentoring prevents crime. Fact. Truth. Period.
    Criminal enforcement reacts to crime after it has already occurred, it prevents nothing.”

    Let me suggest a puppies for pistols program. Or perhaps aggressive community puppetry programs will warm the icy hearts of street thugs.

  • Is this incident yet mentioned in any local news source?

  • The New York Times has recently posted an interactive map of all of the homicides in the city from 2003-2009. I am a former NYC resident. I zoomed in on the Red Hook and Queensbridge areas in Brooklyn and Queens respectively, home to two of NYC’s biggest housing projects. Red Hook has seen a great deal of gentrification in the past few years, but the area around Queensbridge really hasn’t. The number of homicides in those areas, over 6 years, was 6 and 4 respectively. Given the huge number of people living in both neighborhoods (Queensbridge is larger than any project in DC), that is a very low homicide rate. These are housing projects with largely the same resident population that was present a decade or two ago. I am sure there is still poverty and crime in and around these areas. And yet they are at or below one homicide a year. Why? I have to believe the answer is some combination of some reduction in poverty and much-improved policing. The next question is: why isn’t it happening here?

  • @ Odentex:

    I actually just sent off a letter to Bowser. And i agree that a personal touch works better than a form letter. But my thinking was that a template would move some of the people on this blog to act, instead of just flaming each other…The very existence of a simple template couldnt hurt, and may clue in the CMs that there is some organized response to all this crime.

  • anonymous @ 11:17 am,
    Please tell us more of your stories of your experience with DCPS. That would definitely show us what we are up against.

  • Eric in Ledroit: Criminals are everywhere. There is a certain % that are going to be violent despite their background:

    I’d ask you to seriously look into the issue of crime and poverty. You might be surprised. I suggest you read books like New York Murder Mystery by Andrew Karmen which dispel many of the myths about what “causes” crime, including that old canard about poverty = crime.

    Another big difference here is gun possession is tacitly allowed. How many guns are in the hands of teens in Bethesda? Guns are the real problem in DC. The council and the citizens recognize this and we have this gun ban to make ourselves feel like we are doing something about it – but when the time comes to punish people who carry we want to “mentor” them and give them summer jobs instead of cracking down to change the behavior.

  • Anonymous 11:25 am – Ward One Council Member is Jim Graham, or

    You can also type in your address on the page listed below

  • While my previous comment is awaiting moderation….Anonymous 11:25 am – Ward One Council Member is Jim Graham.

  • Oh yes, fantasies about boarding schools are so much more productive than

  • Put this on the other thread (apologies for being duplicative), but clearly this one is drawing the crowd…

    Out of the box thought – eliminate paper currency, if everything was electronic, you would need far more sophisticated criminals in order to exist. If everything was processed through a card, the drug dealer would have to use his I-phone app to process the payment. The gov

  • lol at the complaint about cutting and pasting of comments. you can basically cut and paste any of the comments after a crime event and post ’em into the next one. everyone always says the same shit. it’s very predictable.

  • Ignorance begets ingnorance. Poverty and crime come along for the ride. These people all have potential, they all have some inherant intelligence. They are just raise in a vaccum of humanity. They are literally raised as animals. Very close to the Lord of the Flies.

  • Anon @ 11:41: What’s wrong with anticipating “that all poor people are apt to be criminals”? Well, it’s not true, for one.

  • For some perspective, consider that there are about 7500 violent crimes (murder, rape, robbery, assault) every year in DC. Assume that each one of these is a separate criminal (which isn’t true) and even still you have way less than 1% of DC’s population causing the deadliest problems. Blaming this on poverty is missing the target since over 22% of DC’s residents are below the poverty line.

    Like I said before, using the correlation of poverty and crime to prove causation is no different from using race correlation as causation. It’s not proof of anything and “solutions” that focus on poverty instead of CRIME would be the same as hoping to solve a leaky roof by painting the ceiling. You probably need to do both – and clean the basement while you’re at it, lazy slob.

    We can all agree that addressing the needs of 20% of our city are important, but we also have to recognize that such plans are not married to, nor are they likely to effect, crime. Mentoring may be a solution to some problems, but crime isn’t one of them. I understand that a lot of people have spent a lot of their lives believing that poverty = crime but the facts just don’t bear that out, otherwise we’d have a 20 fold increase in crime – at least.

  • Nate, regarding DCPS.

    I could fill a book (or a blog) with the issues I saw in Ward 1.

    I found about a dozen to 15 teachers at an elementary school that were so incompetent that I started a round of emails with Michelle Rhee’s staff to get them fired and by this year, 2 years later, most have been fired. That’s how bad they were- DC government employees got fired.

    My son had a teacher’s aide who could not speak English and spoke to the kids solely in Spanish. This was part of a bilingual program. When the teacher was late in the morning only the aide was there. I asked her questions in English and she’d respond in Spanish and I’d pause while I’d translate that in my head. When my wife asked questions my wife had no idea what the woman was saying at all.

    My son’s teacher that first year took a 7 week summer vacation in Spain to brush up on Spanish. a 7 week vacation in Spain! He was incredulous that I couldn’t take a summer vacation because I only got 10 days of annual leave. DCPS teachers get INSANE vacation benefits as part of their annual salary.

    I watched teachers drive up for a, 8:40am start time at 8:30am and pick up the kids before going to their classrooms many days a week. Sometimes I’d walk my kid into class and the room was still dirty from yesterday.

    The teacher had an MLK day where the parents came and painted the classroom. He complained about how the city was supposed to clean up the room. We all cursed the DCPS administration about it. The next year in a new school the room was spotless. I told the teacher how lucky she was to get all these resources and she told me she single-handedly painted the room herself on day in August.

    One woman painted her entire classroom in August in DC? Yes, one woman who wasn’t a whiner. She told me that our teacher from the year before probably didn’t want to do any work and just blamed others for work that is part of their duties.

    Aftercare was a disaster. One teacher was a true, walking disaster area, including:
    1. After bragging about her daughters going to Strayer and Southeastern I asked her where she went to college and she responded that it was so long ago that she forgot. Who goes to college but FORGETS THE NAME OF THE COLLEGE? I am convinced she never went to college.
    2. She told me she got the job because her grandmother knew Walter Washington.
    3. She would set up art projects for the kids to do but then do them herself, trying to pass off her work as work she was teaching the kids to do.
    4. She would turn on the TV and watch broadcast TV during class.
    5. I gave her about $50 worth of art supplies she never used the entire year. I offered to pay for things but she had no idea what to do with the money or supplies. She simply had no ideas for teaching the kids.
    6. In the quote which affected me more than any single quote, I asked her why in November she didn’t take the kids outside because they were going crazy inside the school. She told me she didn’t take them out because these kids were poor kids and some of their parents couldn’t afford good coats. I stared right at her and the line of little kids in their pink parkas, north face jackets and related ski wear and asked angrily,
    “Who? Which kids don’t have good coats?” She looked at the line and said, “well, it used to be like that.”

    YES! IT USED TO BE THAT DC WAS A POOR CITY BUT IT’S NOT TRUE NOW. and that was the turning point between me and DCPS, the teachers planned for ONLY and universally to deal with kids in poverty and broken homes who had no idea of what education meant.

    By January every single white family had pulled their kid out of aftercare but us. By the next year only 4 kids out of that Pre-K class remained at the school. Three classes of Pre-Kers became 2 classes of Kindergartners and in the later grades they only had one class.

    And you know what the school focuses on today? teaching the kids organic gardening instead of math.

  • But Nate, the NUMBER ONE ALL TIME MOST STUNNING QUOTE from DCPS came from the principal. After catching drug dealers selling pot on an elementary school playground I told the security guard who told me she was too afraid to confront them (security guard was the niece of the “walking disaster” teacher mentioned above). I went straight to the principal and told her what was happening. she told me, and I quote, “I know those guys. They are members of the community and this is paid for by DC taxes so you can’t bar them from using the facility they pay for. Besides it’s important for them to be around a school.”

    Let me make this clear:
    these guys were unchaperoned adult 23-25 year old males leering at 12 year old girls. one of these guys had two daughters by two different TEENAGE GIRLS already. Which is to say they were pedophiles if not child rapists. They were SELLING DRUGS ON AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PLAYGROUND. And the principal told me that it was my problem as a white man that I didn’t understand DC?

    1. Michelle Rhee’s office, particularly Dr. Richard Nyankori slapped the principal’s hand.
    2. dealers were arrested on school grounds the following august
    3. Principal got fired, but not until the following year
    4. dealers involved in two shooting incidents within 15 months of that discussion.
    5. Jim Graham’s office was marginally helpful

  • “Out of the box thought – eliminate paper currency, if everything was electronic, you would need far more sophisticated criminals in order to exist.”

    Prison economy = cigarettes and sex.

    sorry. there’s already and underground non-cash economy.

  • Anon 12:19
    Please mention the school name. My daughter is in a Columbia Heights charter school that is bilingual (DC Bilingual) and I would like to know if that’s the same

  • Anon @12:27, those are jaw-dropping stories, though not sadly not surprising. Not having kids, I can only comment on my interaction with DCPS teachers when my old job had a partnership with a school in SE. We invited the entire faculty over to our offices one day for a reception in their honor. Female teachers showed up to our major law firm offices in see-through mesh tank tops and flip flops, with unshaved armpits ablazing (sorry, the image has stuck with me for many years) and started pocketing wine coolers and beers to take home. It was at that point that I gave up hope for any kid receiving an inculcative education in that environment. When the adults don’t know what’s acceptable behavior, they can’t teach the kids.

  • anonymous: Your making a difference. I just wanted to say that. You are part of the solution. DC will get better, because of people like you. It will take time, but it will get better as long as we keep pushing. I write, almost everyday, to Jim Graham. I’ve written scathing emails to Mendelson. I call the cops, repeatedly, when I see problems.

  • sic semper Thugus et Mopheadus!

  • What people are unwilling to admit is that there is one single cultural attribute that keeps the trailer parks violent, keeps the nice DC neighborhoods more violent than Queensbridge and keeps West Virginia a mess while Vermont is not. It keeps PG County violent while Bethesda is not.

    The violence is:

    Southernness or Southern Culture

  • Further proof that there are still wide swaths of this city that are, in practical terms, No Go Areas.

    When I first got to DC, circa 20 years ago, 16th Street was the diving line (on and east – west basis.) Not many people would’ve considered living east of there. That started changing and now you can go all the way down to 10th or so and, it’s much improved, although still dicey-ish. Petworth? Aye caramba — but I do wish you luck and hope you’re on the leading edge of something. It may just be a long time coming.

    The fact is the city is full of mindless predators, marinated in casual brutality.

    And the city has been run on a relativist, we-doin’-the-best-we-can basis since ’68. That’s 40+ years for the rabble to get a pretty good toe hold — and the excuse makers to get their script in place.

    I still like DC (or the parts I frequent) — I just don’t expect much from it.

  • Neener: I wasn’t aware NYC in 1990 was steeped in “southern culture”.

    Thanks for the laugh though.

  • 12:34- did your daughter’s principal get fired this year? If not then it’s not. But you would know your child’s school right?

    What I wrote above is merely a few of the shocking stories. They are the worst, but there are easily 10 more pages of DCPS stories just like that.

    I promised the PTA president that I would not name the school by name in order for the PTA to recruit quality parents after the teachers got fired.

  • No firing this year. And I try to know my kid’s school as much as a first year parent can. I just haven’t had the same experience with my principal and teachers. Just wanted to confirm it was a different school.

  • Neener: I wasn

  • “Southernness or Southern Culture”

    Baloney. I have lived in at least one Southern city which was poorer even than DC. There was plenty of crime and drug dealing. At the same time, most of the violence that took place happened for very specific reasons among people who knew each other. You didn’t have to worry about teenagers hitting you in the head with a rock for five dollars. I believe this was largely because the police there actually solved crimes and threw people, including teenagers, in jail, meaning that crime was something you really had to commit to as a career. It wasn’t just something you could play at from age 13-18 until you caught your first adult charge.

    I’d also like to know how your theory applies to places like upstate New York and the cities in Connecticut, which are ravaged by drugs and where the people haven’t seen the South in generations. Those cities do, however, have high poverty, no new sources of working-class jobs and a very small effective tax base, just like DC.

  • I’m not going to sit and argue this theory with people who don’t know sociology. I’d have to go back and explain why all these cultural touch-stones are important and then people would argue that log-accepted texts aren’t important. I wrote a paper on this in class in college and read a lot about the issues regarding the separation between the Federal government and the southern states and the slaves and the power structure that leaves pretty much the entire southern and Appalachian population in love with “The outlaw” and anger toward “centralized authority.”

    This is as basic as NASCAR generated from bootlegging or gangsta rap generated from drug dealing.

    But to start it, Connecticut’s one city with the most transplanted population (Hartford) had the worst problems. That’s why you don’t see comparable problems in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine or Rhode Island.

    This is an issue of hedonism born on the backs of slaves. If I was to continue with the slavery issue I would piss a lot of people off who I don’t want to piss off.

    The “Protestant Work Ethic” is the reverse of this:

    There are also related theories toward cultures that come from cold climates being more educated and focused on education than cultures from warm climates due to the effect of the long winter stuck indoors. The book Guns, Germs and Steel touches on this.

  • The south is pretty freaking dangerous. DC doesn’t have the home invasions that cities in the south have. Nothing is more dangerous than a home invasion. Neener, is probably right about Detroit having a lot of Southerners. Memphis and B’ham were like feeder cities for Detroit.

    The school was Truesdell correct? I remember hearing about the drug dealers at that school.

  • Neener,
    I think you have to distinguish between drug related killings, which are based on economics, and mere petty violence. Drug related crime can be solved through policy changes. Random senseless acts of violence can not.

  • Neener, one college paper does not an expert make. The South you are describing is nothing like the one I was born and raised in (which included summers in rural Appalachia with family friends who had sixth-grade educations).

    The South does have a much more ingrained culture of hospitality, which includes interaction with strangers and accountability to one’s neighbors. I see a lot more unfriendliness and coldness between neighbors here than I did in the Southern state in which I grew up.

    Also, the South is overwhelmingly Protestant (including large numbers of Calvinist followers such as Presbyterians). The “Protestant work ethic” should be more present among Southerners than the overwhelmingly Catholic North, no?

    And about the political structure – the South was historically Democratic (i.e. supporting a more involved role for government and, by extension, police) until the 1960s (basically because of racist white people who switched parties, not because of any real shift in the way people thought about government). It’s only in recent decades that it’s become predominantly Republican – and even now, most of the hardcore Southern Republicans I know vote they way they do because of religion and social issues, not because they have strong feelings about government influence.

    Anyway, thanks for listening. It just makes me frustrated to hear people trash my culture because of a couple months’ worth of research they did years ago.

    – a proud Tennessee transplant

  • “I wrote a paper on this in class in college”

    I see. Well why didn’t you say so to begin with? Hell, you wrote a paper on it! Shit, what are facts compared to that?

    Your examples range from the spurious to the downright wrong.

    Denver has a horrible violent crime problem and a serious gang problem – just not a horrible reputation like DC does. For example the Feds in Denver prosecute, on average, 480-500 felonies a year (drug trafficking, racketeering and firearms), while DC has about a hundred less federal cases a year. Since Denver is a smaller city than DC (500K vs. 800K), some might suggest that this suggests that Denver has an even bigger serious crime problem than DC especially with regard to gangs and racketeering (read up on it). Denver also about 4,200 violent crimes a year, which is nearly double the national average, and adjusting for population getting awfully close to DC’s violent crime rate.

  • Southern cities are dangerous as hell. Even the smaller ones.

  • Y’all oughta try the sweet tea in Gaza.

  • the “triple nickel” is the nickname of the US Attorney’s Office for the District (555 4th St. NW). Triple Nickle’s post might explain why there are so many problems there.

  • Warderite, you’re delusional.

    The South is by far this country’s most violent region, with its worst incidence of social problems, lowest education, you name it. It was an aristocratic, feudal society built on the blacks of slave labor and a large, uneducated white class that was only a half-step above slaves but taught to accept that lot because they shared the same skin color as the elite. After Reconstruction, the federal government basically threw in the towel and signed a Faustian bargain with the Southern elite to let them keep their own backward-ass social system in place so the feds could get the hell out of having responsibility for half the country. Violence is so ingrained in the South because it was the way the elite held onto control and the way the poor whites kept the poor blacks down. It was part and parcel of the semi-feudal social structure that existed both before and after the Civil War, and which all segments of white society wanted to preserve because it enabled them to be “better” than those lower down on the chain. Sadly, many segments of Southern black society internalized this level of violence as well.

    In the North, by contrast, you had during the colonial period an economy built on small-scale, free agriculture as well as commerce and international trade (much of it smuggling, but small detail.) The emphasis on small-scale commerce rather than large-scale, inherited plantation wealth meant that immigrants could settle and have a chance to get ahead. With industrialization, this process accelerated, and there was a forced mingling among all the different immigrant groups during the first half of the 20th century. People had to get along, so by and large they got along; relations with blacks are arguably the exception to this rule, but even so the opportunities both political and economic for blacks were far better in the North than in the South – duh, that should be clear because they left the South. In the Northern cities, for the most part, the immigrants jockeyed politically for influence with the native-born whites and other immigrant groups, and a modus vivendi was reached in which the groups lived alongside each other and developed their own personal spheres of economic influence or what have you. In time, the borders blurred, such that by the 1940s my Jewish great grandfather could marry an Irish Catholic woman and no one really cared.

    As to coldness, I’ve never met coldness like what I’ve seen in the South. Sure, people will be faux friendly to your face, but they will turn and stab you in the back like nobody’s business. In this regard, the rich are some of the worst. Even in DC, I’ve had yuppie scum from Tennessee talk all about how their superimportant job at Deloitte, about how historic their family is back home, etc., and god forbid they should give you the time of day if you have a last name with odd consonants in it. Or like my gay friend from Atlanta who died, and his rich Southern Republican parents wouldn’t even let my friend’s boyfriend (WHO LIVED WITH HIM) to come into the house to get his own stuff. The poor guy just had to sit in the garage with his mom while the Southerners threw boxes of whatever they thought was his down.

    Warderite, your “culture” is feudal, hateful, backward, and really not worth celebrating. And it just makes *me* frustrated to hear people praise your “culture” as if sweet tea and cornbread make up for hundreds of years of slavery, race hatred, and state terrorism.

  • OK, I live maybe six blocks away from where this went down, but I realize and understanding that this incident may directly and/or indirectly affect me at some point. If not already

  • Jeff, think about it, the Metro accident gets those folks on NATIONAL news!!!! Omigosh, can you imagine!!!??? ANDERSON COOPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your little shooting in gross old DC is not even local news. (seriously, has this story appeared on any news outlet yet?)

    Its like the right to bear arms, which is also something that can get you on the teevee in front of the supreme court and into walnut paneled rooms with fancy water. Trying to reduce gun crime means you have to go outside, where its hot and sticky and smelly, and no Anderson Cooper makes eyes at you. Fenty lives for Cooper’s eyes, I’d think.

  • Note, triple nickel is also a very common military designation, for any unit with ‘555’ in it, including them black guys who Laurence Fishburn took over Germany.

  • Does anyone know where Phil Mendelson lives? Not to get all tinfoil hat on people, but one possible reason for him being so soft on crime is that crime elsewhere in DC keeps the “nice” and “right” people in his own neighborhood. And his property values stay high. Just sayin’.

  • Uh, Cleveland to Appalachia connection? NYC has a southern culture? Detroit’s problems stem from the South? What grade did you get on this paper?

  • there has been some recent scholarship backing neener up – it stems from a scotch/irish tradition of fightin’ and feudin’, basically. of course 250 years later it’s very complicated but there is compelling evidence that what neener is describing is a factor in various parts of our culture today. i recently read a book review about it – will try to figure it out and post the book name on here.

  • ah, that’s right – the book i’m thinking of is by Jim Webb, the Democratic congressman from Virginia.

    here’s a review

    interesting stuff

  • Mendelson lives in Mclean Gardens, in posh American U. area. I heard he recently left his wife and daughter for another woman and thus moved elsewhere, but no info on that.

    So yes, he has no frigging clue what its like to live in our area. He’s focused on constitutional law issues, which in this city is probably the worst qualification for a crime/justice cmte head.

  • Pennywise, Your missing the point……

    In that multiply shooting and reports of gun fire have occurred within the Petworth / Park View communities, which the police and elected officials I believe, see as being just fun and games, but this time someone got killed…

    How many more times does this need to happen before there is an innocent bystander gets hurt and/or killed? But if that happens, I guess it will become news worthy local story. Maybe two lines in NorthWest Current, DC North or maybe even the City Paper.

  • @Nate 9:20 – Atlanta.

  • Jeff, are you new to town?

  • Mendelson’s primary motivation seems to be not rocking the boat. The reflexive argument against stiffer penalties for those that repeatedly carry guns is that it locks up more young black men and, well, that’s just not right no matter what kind of havoc a particular individual happens to bring to the streets. Let’s be honest. The primary reason why Mendelson and his cronies won’t hold criminals responsible for their crimes is because he’s more worried about being called a bigot than he’s worried about public safety. Personally I don’t care what color a repeat gun criminal is. That person needs to face serious, mandatory punishment for the crimes they commit. No special passes to commit crime just because city council members might have to face uncomfortable slanders from ignorant people. What cowards.

    And by “serious penalties” I mean three years flat for the 2nd gun possession offense and 10 years for any gun possession after that. Period. No plea outs for lesser included offenses or dismissals for anything other than cooperation. Squealers get breaks, everyone else breaks rocks.

    First offenders caught with guns should get mandatory intensive supervision for at least one year, weekly check in’s with the probation officer, weekly drug tests – or one year flat in jail – their choice. If they take the supervision and screw up with a dirty drug test, get caught with another gun, whup up on their baby momma, fail to stay in school or stay employed, then they go away for the one year flat – no “good time”, no “credit”. Just goodbye.

    2nd offense? Hope you have a hobby.
    3rd? See you when you’re 40.

    Currently someone caught with a gun gets, on average, time served (usually a day) or unsupervised probation – i.e. they are released back on the streets with no supervision until the maim or kill someone – or get killed themselves. How is the current system helping anyone? Not the victims, not the citizens scared to walk the streets, not the criminals who are more likely to end up dead or in prison for something more serious than live to see 30.

    We need practical solutions to send a clear message that this city is fricken’ serious about not carrying guns. No more bullshit.

  • # Anonymous Says:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    @Nate 9:20 – Atlanta.
    ATL is one of the most dangerous, poor, cities in the South. Read the AJC. You would be amazed at the corruption in the gov’t and the crime, particularly home invasions.

  • Warderite, you misread the relationship between Protestantism and the Protestant Work Ethic- it’s never meant that literal. We can substitute “Northern Efficiency” if you want.

    I think you’re trying to draw national conclusions about politics that I’m not trying to make. Look at traditionally Northern liberal republicans for instance. I’m not even trying to go there.

    I’m not trashing your culture… but there’s a ton of academic research to back up what I’m talking about, particularly at Old Miss. google it if you want. The civil war was real and the two parts of the country were and are actually different during the 1700s-1800s with different values and the deep south really did not industrialize until in some senses after the 1950s. The great migration really did bring Appalachians to Cleveland and southerners to Detroit and Los Angeles.

    I am not from New England even remotely- my family hails from Appalachia, but this dichotomy is part of our vocabulary- if you can believe this, the relatives won 5 union scholarships over a 10 year period as the only people who embraced education at the factory- and in at least one of the other years not one kid qualified for that scholarship. People who didn’t embrace this ended up working at the shoe store and going on welfare when Wal-Mart moved in. My uncle went to Harvard for undergrad and B School.

    It has to do with rejecting the power structure and cosmopolitanism in the world or accepting that one is a part of that power structure. The longer one fights the power structure as an outsider, the more one sinks into crime, failure and poverty. It has to do with a power structure that’s built on hard work and not one built on leisure with extreme unfairness at the bottom- encourage small and local businesses or franchises. When one accepts the power structure and one’s place in it, then one becomes successful as a whole. I really don’t want to be a lightning rod for this issue, but I’ve seen people post here about why trailer parks have the same amount of crime as Southeast DC without drawing the one connection based out of the civil war and accepted culture.

    I believe one needs to work with kids so that they see themselves as part of the power structure- and certainly many see a president who looks like them as a great part of this. At no point can any group working with kids allow them to think of themselves as outside of mainstream society- any group run by ex-offenders should be out of the picture completely of course.

  • Oh, and the mandatory intensive supervision goes for everyone. I don’t buy that Jim Webb’s assistant didn’t know he couldn’t have a gun in DC – he just didn’t care. Put privileged assholes like him on probation too if they carry guns. No one should have a gun on the streets of this city other than police. PERIOD.

    We are either serious about this or we’re not. If we’re not serious, repeal the ban completely and let everyone carry in the streets. The current situation is a JOKE.

  • You are seeing now why I moved out of town in 1996. It’s been hard to explain it to people, since DC has been relatively peaceful since the early part of the decade. There are a lot of new residents who don’t remember the “murder capital” and may not even believe that I used to sit in my Adams Morgan living room listening to the gunfire in the distance. The reality is, it can get much worse, and I’ve lived through it (crack, riots, stabbings, drive-bys). The violence is cyclical, and it follows the economic cycle. This downturn won’t end any time soon, and neither will the crime. If you are psychologically susceptible to this, leave before the PTSD sets in.

  • Mendelson also doesn

  • Odentex,
    Quite frankly, you know very little of what you are talking about. As someone who has some had the unfortunate experience of being locked up for CPWL, I can tell you that what you speak of is foolish.

    I think in every case there are factors that should determine the charges. For instance, if you are caught dealing crack with an handgun in your waistband, then you deserve some time. 1st offense. 2nd offense. I don’t care. If you are caught just hanging out on a corner with a handgun. Or shooting dice. Or smoking a joint in public with a handgun. You need to go away for a bit.

    As it stands now in DC, criminals game the system because we are blaming the gun instead of the people. Guns are not the problem. It is the people with the guns.

    I was in court recently. A special police officer at Walter Reed was brought up on charges of CPWL. Supposedly he was pulled over for too dark of a tint on his car. When the officers approached, they noticed his service gun belt in the back seat. When asked if he had a gun in the car,he admitted having a gun. Boom, he has knowledge. Ruined his career although he is unlikely to commit an act of violence. His punishment was $1,300 fine, 2 years SUPERVISED probation and 200 hours of community service.

    He was treated the same way, if not worse, than Devyn Black who probably beat his CPWL by not having “KNOWLEDGE”. We all see how that turned out.

  • “In that multiply shooting and reports of gun fire have occurred within the Petworth / Park View communities, which the police and elected officials I believe, see as being just fun and games, but this time someone got killed

  • Of course the South has a history of “fightin’ and feudin.'” The whole fucking planet does. It’s what people do when they don’t feel they can rely on the rule of law. They settle things themselves. It’s more true in rural areas. And yes, people do take their culture with them.

    The idea, however, that this is some sort of ineradicable, uncontrollable Southern disease that is in the genes of every Southern-born person, generations on, is frankly hilarious. To the extent that contemporary Southern cities suffer from crime, it’s because of poverty, lack of education, lack of jobs, and pretty much the same “culture of poverty” issues as in contemporary Northern cities. You can’t blame the fact that descendents of a bunch of poor, undereducated black people who moved north are still poor, undereducated and black on the fact that they came from the south. Why? Because a lot of those people who came north are no longer in that boat and a lot of the people who _stayed behind_ are no longer in that boat. There are clearly numerous more significant factors at work.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I must fetch my shootin’ iron. I believe the revenuers are on their way.

  • doug – no way is this cyclical, it’s generational and the trend is for the middle and upper class to move back to cities and push the lower classes out to the suburbs. this is a long term trend not something that happened because of the real estate boom.

    neener – i agree with a lot of what you wrote about the scots-irish and southern roots. however the obvious counterexample is the fact that the black community in dc and many other places was peaceful and prosperous until the late 60s when everything fell apart. when the good factory jobs dried up, we locked up a generation of men for selling drugs, and introduced a welfare system that encouraged idleness the shit hit the fan. backpedalling against those phenomena is a hell of a challenge. the only real answer is to figure out a way to put a legitimate economic opportunity in front of the next generation of poor dc residents. a good place to start would be with things like much enhanced vocational education so kids that are not on a college track or are not reading at grade level can graduate and make $20 an hour as a journeyman plumber instead of $6 running a cash register.

  • Odentex Says:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Oh, and the mandatory intensive supervision goes for everyone. I don

  • Nate: Your security guard example doesn’t impress. He knew he shouldn’t have the gun so he pays the price. Period. Everyone wants exceptions. “I’m no criminal. I just carry a gun around endangering everyone and buy drugs in public. But I’m no criminal.”

    I agree that the result is unfair though. Not because he got punished, he deserves it, but because we don’t adequately punish those truly dangerous repeat offenders and merely wait until they get killed or kill someone else until we take it seriously.

    Please stop with the ridiculous hypotheticals – You weren’t stopped in a rental car and your friend didn’t leave a gun in your house. It was yours. And pleeeease stop with the hilarious justification of criminality. We are either serious about not having guns in the city, or we aren’t. Currently the city council isn’t serious, you ain’t serious, and we see the results on the streets.

    Regarding Webb’s peon: I’m all for DC finally getting an elected prosecutor that has to answer for their actions. I’m no supporter of the pathetic job the US Atty is doing. There is no doubt that once the laws are reformed an equal, and possibly greater, amount of force must be applied to get the US Atty to do their damn job, or get Congress to give us a responsive local elected prosecutor. But that effort doesn’t have shit to do with making the price of gun possession too high for your and many others to risk now.

  • Neener, just a point of order: that’s Ole Miss, as in the Rebels and James Meredith, not Old Miss, as in my grandmother.

    (And while I don’t find your argument at all compelling, I will say in the context of this conversation: so what?? Even if it is the Dirty South creeping up on us, does that counsel we cut off all the bridges over the Potomac until we Yankee-up a little? It’s not like there’s a solution to the South … we already fought that war and won.)

  • Odentex,
    Your suggestions will never be put into place. Not here. Not anywhere. VA is soft on guns and has little crime in NOVA. Guns are widely available in MD. Yet little crime in Bethesda, SS, etc. Obviously it ain’t guns buddy. Banning guns in DC is like banning alcohol in DC. But if you can’t see that, then that really sucks for you.

    I point out the hypothetical examples to you because the law should be sensible. Otherwise, people just dismiss them. Look no further than our drug laws. Or interracial marriage laws. People see them as infringing on their right to enjoyment and they disregard them. If you don’t like that, then either suck it up or move. Those are your only options. Guns are now legal in DC. They are not going away. People that want to kill people for no reason were going to do so no matter what. It sucks that people are that way.

  • In light of the recent gun violence and the newly relaxed gun laws there needs to be a Community Supported Death Squad to surgically eliminate the unsavory elements. A good defense is a better offense.
    With the Community Death Squad’s proper firearms training, reading skills and more than fundamental reasoning it should be able to conspicuously get rid of a problem that can not be fixed by society or curbed by the police. Informers, Snipers & Silencers will be the key, and as a gesture of goodwill, those taken alive can spend their days on an organic farm raising conscientious food for prisons.

  • OK now what? NOW WHAT? Everyone went back and forth and many soapboxes were trod upon. At the end of the day, I’m still afraid to walk home in broad daylight.

  • For a clear picture of just how pathetic the US Atty’s office has been regarding prosecuting cases and protecting the public, you only need look at the facts. In the last five years (2003-2008) the number of felony cases filed by the US Atty has fallen by 34%, and the number of felony cases closed by the office fell by 46%. Half as many cases disposed of than in ’03.

    “Well,” you say, “maybe there aren’t as many crimes being committed.”

    Au contraire, mon frere.

    During the same time period the number of misdemeanors criminal cases filed by the Attorney General for DC’s office (a different office responsible for petty misdemeanors and juvenile cases only) stayed exactly the same. No drop.

    Still not convinced? From the year 2003 until the year 2007, MPD year-in, year-out arrests approximately 40,000-50,000 suspects. The numbers fluctuate up and down, but not by 50%. So it’s not that less crimes are reported and less arrests are made – it’s simply 50% more cases being dropped by the US Atty who is allegedly protecting us.

    [page 24]

    The US attorney has cried in the past and claimed it’s wasn’t his fault due to budget cuts, but how does a 14% budget cut equal 50% less criminals being prosecuted? What kind of fuzzy math is that?

    Further, he outright LIED in the WaPo article (good fact checking WaPo! I found the data on the Superior Court website in 5 minutes this afternoon). He states that Superior Court prosecutions had gone up. Total and complete lie.

    Why not cut the lying liar US Atty’s salary? Why not cut it completely and get the elected DA we voted for in 2002? Why do we need to be lied to and made less safe by these appointed losers?

    Del. Norton has supported the notion of a local prosecutor in the past and introduced a bill in Congress every year since the referendum in 2002. Interestingly, this year she hasn’t. She also hasn’t responded to my request as to the status of this bill and instead is busy working on a committee to select yet another US Atty for DC. I guess it’s okay when the US Atty who ignores local issues is a Democrat. Still all hot and bothered about getting her a vote?

    Superior Court data, for those interested:

  • Nate: You are wrong. Carrying guns in public is not legal in DC. I agree that you and many other people violate this law brazenly, day in, day out. I agree that once many people are arrested they either get a slap on the wrist for the millionth time or have their case dismissed by the pathetic US Atty’s office. I agree that the current law doesn’t deter a damn thing.

    That’s why we need a law with teeth and a prosecutor who will enforce the law across the board no matter who is involved. Always. Every time. When Webb’s flunky tried to blame his crime on his boss “leaving” the gun in the satchel a real prosecutor would have called Webb into the Grand Jury and asked him, under oath, if he was the one the put the gun in the case rather than just accept the flunky’s word. That’s what would have happened anywhere else but the la-la-land that is DC.

    Breaking the law is not okay just because you aren’t dealing crack or robbing people. You are part of the problem if you don’t see this.

  • Pennywise….

    Nope….. Have family thats has and still lives in Petworth very close to Parkview more than 50 plus years…. I have been in and around Petworth for 30 plus and then I bought a house Petworth in the last 6 years…

    What about yourself Pennywise…

  • Anonymous (June 23rd, 2009 at 5:13 pm),

    We as a community need to stop being anonymous…
    And put names to faces and faces to names…
    Expect and demand more from the police and our elected officals…
    And make it an issue, if you beleive its an issue…

  • Even if it is the Dirty South creeping up on us, does that counsel we cut off all the bridges over the Potomac until we Yankee-up a little? It

  • The idea, however, that this is some sort of ineradicable, uncontrollable Southern disease that is in the genes of every Southern-born person, generations on, is frankly hilarious.

    There isn’t one single person on this board who suggested anything remotely like that fool.

  • Odentex is justified in his rebuke of the PoP community for not stepping to press harder for better crime legislation. And here is ourchance to make up for it. Thursday, 5D is holding a vertiable crime summit with some MAJOR PLAYERS (see below) confirmed to attend and the details (taken from the 5D listserv) are below. So go, make big noise and press, press, press our leaders for action and real solutions to make our streets safer. Or, don’t go and accept that, like the criminals that victimize us, you really don’t care. But please – GO AND CARE!

    Fifth District Citizens’ Advisory Council
    Metropolitan Police Department

    June 2009 Meeting
    Thursday, 25 June 2009
    Fifth District Police Headquarters
    1805 Bladensburg Road, NE


    Special Guests:

    The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton – confirmed

    The Honorable Adrian M. Fenty – invited

    The Honorable Harry “Tommy” Thomas – confirmed

    The Honorable Phil Mendelson – confirmed

    Cathy Lanier, Chief of Police, DC Metropolitan Police Department – confirmed

    The Honorable Channing D. Phillips, Acting U.S. Attorney for DC – confirmed

    Joseph Persichini, Assistant Director In Charge, FBI Washington Field
    Office, U.S. Department of Justice – confirmed

    Salvatore Lauro, Chief of Police, United States Park Police, National Park
    Service, U.S. Department of Interior – confirmed

  • If you’re in the 404, CM Bowser is supposed to be at PSA meeting at 801 Shepherd tomorrow, 7:00pm.

  • Ask Norton where our locally elected and locally accountable prosecutor is?

    We voted for it in 2002. Since that time while reported crimes and arrests have remained stable the number of cases the US Atty disposes of each year has fallen to half the number in 2002. The US Atty is pissing on our collective legs and calling it rain. Now that Norton gets to help select the new US Atty (a democrat) is all forgiven? She’s conviently forgotten about our vote. DON’T LET HER GET AWAY WITH IT. I’m sick of the city saying “well, it’s better now than in 1991.” Enough of this bullshit.

  • Ask Channing Phillips why his office only prosecutes half the cases it did in 2003 while the crime rate has actually gone up slightly and the arrest rate is the same?

    Ask Channing where he lives.

    Ask Channing if he’d be so complacent if his children lived on a street where people have daylight gunfights.

    Channing, the son of a old DC politician, is yet another in a line of self-serving, un-accountable, useless losers.

    These people are worthless, worthless, worthless.

    Why aren’t you mad? What will it take? Does someone you care about have to be shot before you’ll say a cross word to the PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR YOU?

  • People in Tehran risk being killed or tortured just for the right to vote. In DC people won’t bother to go to a meeting to save the lives of their fellow citizens, won’t bother to have an uncomfortable conversation with a cowardly politician, won’t bother to demand that public servants do the most fundamental job they have – protect the public.


  • I don’t think its our fault that the recent crime legislation did not pass. I and many others did what we could to advocate via email and phone calls for passage of tougher crime laws. However, with two months of solid travel and nonstop work, which is fairly normal for me, there’s only so much a private citizen such as myself can do, which is why we have governments in the sociological sense. And, I note that formal citizen input on this bill was overbooked, and testimony was controlled seemingly by Mendelson, who chose not to allow many speakers on merits of cracking down on crime. In this case, our “government” chose to bicker and poke each other, and no proponent of the crime bill (Fenty, Graham, etc), really promoted it all that well, especially at the eleventh hour when new legislation was introduced. This is all moot, as the DC Council apparently did not even really read it, and no lawyers familiar with its contents were at the June 16 hearing. Thomas’s worry that his three sons would be arrested as the “Thomas gang” is a case in point, it was ignorant and wrong to interpret the bill as allowing such, in that the gang injunction would only be implemented after judicial review, and not by officers on the street. The fact that this was not argued at all was incredibly indicative of how off-topic our council is, they are simply out to lunch. Watch the June 16 meeting and tell me how much of that makes sense. Also, recall that much of the introduced legislation was done so on an emergency basis, and I at least have yet to actually see this legislation. The crime bill was basically scuttled due to ignorance of our council, and infighting over baseball tickets and subpoenas between the mayors office and the council. The idea that citizens can actually influence the passage of such legislation is naive, and reflects an ignorance which does great damage to DC overall, and smacks of the ‘blame the victim’ mentality that is often employed by our colonial and DC government masters. In short, we can only elect councilmembers, after that we are stuck with them. To get a councilmember who is tough on crime, you need to raise lots of money now so they can survive the democratic primaries next year. All else is pissing in the wind. Change may come, but it will be quite slow, so you either suck it up and resign yourself to slow progress or move elsewhere. Or live a very frustrated life, I guess…

    Also note this story is still unreported in all local news outlets.

  • I applaud you getting involved beyond merely bitching on a blog Pennywise. But that makes about 4 of us out of the hundreds who posted on this and every other “crime” story posted on PoP. About 4 that ever bothered to go to a meeting or insist on answers from officials.

    And I’m sorry, but you’re wrong about what 50 or 100 or 200 people who bothered to go to meetings, constantly berate the Council, and demand changes could do. The problem is that 4 or 5 of us can be easily contained. I also had work issues that prevented me from seeing things through like I originally wanted to, and frankly, without some sort of real support from the community, I now feel it is pointless. But if there were 100 people involved my absence and your absence wouldn’t make a bit of a difference. It’s the apathy of the majority of the good people in the neighborhood that allows this bullshit to continue. Period. If only 100 organized people had a consistent message, “pass this bill”, it would get done.

    Voting Mendelson out someday is great, and will be a positive step for the city, but frankly he is a coward who would gladly pass a law to electrocute people for traffic tickets if he felt it would help him politically. If you have spent more than five minutes listening to this double-talking nebbish you know what I mean. There is no need to wait and pressure could be applied now if only critical mass could be attained.

    Frankly, if it wasn’t for the half-dozen or less people who complained back in February the Omnibus bill wouldn’t have even been debated, let alone voted on. When I first started beating on him the bill wasn’t even scheduled for debate. It was only merciless phone, e-mail, and meeting questioning that got it on the agenda in the first place. So sorry, but I have to disagree strongly.

    The people who complain bitterly on this blog, across fences, or out on the street, but then can’t be bothered to complain to the faces of their leaders are to blame. The criminals just do what they do. They know that carrying a pistol won’t get them any time so why bother to follow the law? They know that MPD can’t do shit about them taking over an alley and making the resident’s lives a living hell, so they laugh at us all. The criminals use logic while many of the people that post here live in some sort of bizzaro world. They have time to muse about all kinds of bullshit, from hairbrained social programs to disgusting eugenic theories, but they have no time for reality. Perhaps that’s how they deal with living in a city that refuses to punish criminals – perhaps it’s cognitive dissonance or PTSD. The only “solutions” they can see are fuckdiculous fantasies about hugging the crime out of thugs or going Rambo on their ass. I’m sick of it. I can only conclude that most people in this neighborhood are so cowed by crime that they have gone insane.

  • Odentex, you are the one who is insane if you think the solution to this problem lies within our elected officials or enforcement of particular criminal laws.

    It’s not hugs that will solve the problem, but a real cultural shift where everyone in the community actually cares about everyone else, including the kids that eventually become teenage thugs. As long as we all ignore the children here, and assume it’s not appropriate to get involved, or it’s someone else’s job to raise them, we will continue to see this violence.

    Your rambling about council members and gun laws are at best short term fixes. Very short term.

  • Anonymous: You’re talking about something that has never worked, ever, anywhere in the world through nearly 10,000 years of urban existence. But more importantly, your talking about something that won’t do a thing to make the streets safer. The urban poor exist and will continue to exist. What can be done is to protect everyone, including the 98% of the urban poor that obey the law, by enforcing the law. The small % of violent criminals can only be contained, not changed. It has always been so. In DC we have abdicated authority of our corners, alleys, and streets to this small % of thugs, and in a city full to the fricken brim with non-profits, work programs, handouts, community centers, we still get violence.

    When you have to confiscate weapons at the summer job handout orientation, when one of your star “employees” guns down innocent people in broad daylight, it’s time to re-evaluate your tactics with regard to that 2%.

    Namby-pamby ideas about it “taking a village” have nothing to do with law enforcement. Wake up to the real world.

  • Odentex is right. There have to be real consequences for criminal behavior. This worked beautifully in NYC, and there’s no reason it can’t work here.

  • Look, Anonymous, and everyone else that suggests “intervention”. What, specifically, is your plan? I mean really? I want realistic specifics.

    Take kids away from homes where the parents aren’t doing their job? Good luck with that. As long as the child isn’t being seriously abused there is simply nothing you can do about the cycle of ignorance and dysfunction. You can’t remove the child. You can’t “force” mentoring or participation in whatever make-good program you promote.

    The 2% of kids that turn out violent are not showing up for mentoring sessions or taking advantage of community resources. That’s not their interest or background, nor the interest or background of their parents (if their parents are even around). The kids that benefit from mentoring and other intervention are typically not the ones using guns on others. People make differences in the lives of children, no doubt, but the children participating in these programs and benefitting from them are not the ones that end up shooting at each other.

    And BTW, I totally agree with you that such initiatives are useful and bring some kids along in ways that otherwise would not have happened. But these initiatives can’t reach, won’t reach, will never reach some children. All we can do is make sure OUR children and the children of out law-abiding neighbors don’t suffer the consequences of now adult criminals.

    I’ll give you an example. Grandmother on my block was raising her daughter’s children. Children were doing well, in school, had friends, seemed to be as happy and healthy as any children you’d ever meet. Immature and troubled daughter realizes she’ll get more money for housing and aid if she has kids and proceeds to take kids even though she has no place to live. Kids go to shelter with erratic, but not clearly abusive, mother. Grandmother never had custody so she can’t do a thing. Judge says “what can I do?” Maybe the few years with granny will serve those children well and they’ll make it through, maybe mother will grow up and put her children back in school and pursue mentoring and other opportunities, but maybe not.

    The bottom line here is that the result will have nothing whatever to do with your plans or mine. Unless someone else’s child is seriously abused the environment they live in is never going to be up to you. What they’re taught, if they are made to hate and have no respect for themselves or others, that’s just beyond anyone’s control. No program can fix what’s broken there. I hate to say it, but on this front, Nate is 100% right. The level of dysfunction is impenetrable and their ain’t no “program” to fix it.

    And BTW, enforcing the law and protecting the public isn’t a “short term solution” it’s the primary job of any government.

  • Warehousing young men and leaving their kids to their own devices will simply result in more men to warehouse.

  • I ask again, what is your specific solution Anonymous? Or are you going to simply repeat tired expressions about “warehousing” and avoid the issues? What’s your solution other than simply resist practicalities because it hurts your progressive sensibilities?

    The fact is that “warehousing” accomplished by the establishment of federal mandatory minimums for drugs and guns, and similar state laws, are what allow New Yorkers to walk the streets in peace while DC residents waste time discussing bullshit.

    You don’t reform a 19 year old who shoots people on a busy street in broad daylight by giving him a handout “job” – you throw the keys away. Could the picture not be made any clearer by the events of last week? “Programs” don’t reform the unreformable. You can’t “mentor” a criminal. Why must everyone be subject to the violence and crime of these people because Mendelson and people like you get hurt feelings over upsetting thugs and their families?

    Most importantly, in WHAT FANTASY WORLD does the criminal from last week’s shooting positively effect the life of his spawn whether he’s in or out of jail? Are you fucking kidding? His kid couldn’t pick him out of a line up. You’re hilarious with this cause in effect regarding punishing criminals!


  • Once the ghetto scum realizes that they will be jailed/shot by the police/raped in prison for committing crimes, they will think twice about it and in many cases will find something more productive to do with their time.

    People should read about the zero-tolerance policies they put in place in NYC under Giuliani. I think Giuliani is one of the oiliest sleazebags who ever walked the earth, but on this point he was spot on, and the city is far better for it.

    There’s another problem in DC, which was not so much of a factor in NY, and my mentioning of it will probably bring down howls of protest. But whatever. In DC, a large portion of the black community either actively supports crime committed against white people, or passively refuses to take sides against their own community against the outsiders. I’ve actually been on a Metro train where a group of 3-4 teenage black kids got on, started screaming and running all over the place, swearing loudly, pushing each other into people on the train, etc. When I got out at the next stop to complain to the driver, another black passenger got off too and went out of his way to defend the kids, saying “They just horsin’ around.” It was obvious he didn’t like the white boy narc-ing on the homies.

    On a somewhat off-topic but similar vein, they had an article in the Post (I believe DCist talked about it) at about the time that Michelle Rhee came in to run the school system. that some blacks openly admitted they wanted her to fail because, if she succeeded where black administrators failed, what did it say about the black community’s ability to handle its own problems? The same thing is at play with the crime situation, to a degree.

  • while all you fighting over who’s racist or not and wasting your time, rather than spend some of it trying to help enact laws to eradicate some of this violence, I find it shameful that the innocent young man was killed by GSW on 600 block of Quebec on June 22. It seems he died in vain and the lunatic inhuman fool who committed this crime is now roaming around free to repeat this kind of behavior. Who would believe in our nations Capital the crime far exceeds many states. This is atrocious.
    An innocent man is killed and instead of people posting information regarding “whodunnit”, you are arguing about sh…Empty Talk, talk, discuss, discuss…sounds familiar to me. What we need is ACTION from real citizens who want a better life for their kids and their kid’s kids. This was my brother!

  • Mel: You are 100% correct. It makes me so sad and angry that another family has to suffer because people like CM Mendelson just don’t get it and would rather go on and on about the poor criminal than protect the public.

    If the killer that took your brother’s life was allowed out of jail before he was tried you can thank one person for that: Phil Mendelson. For years he’s refused to change the law to keep killers, gun criminals, and other dangerous thugs in jail pending trial and he doesn’t see a problem with letting them prey on neighborhoods like ours. He doesn’t see a problem because his family lives in AU Park while innocent people like your brother suffer the consequences.

    I can’t tell you how much I am sorry and how angry it makes me. Just know that there are plenty of people that want to see justice in DC and stop seeing young men die. What’s going on here? Why can’t we punish the killers and gun criminals like we think it’s serious?

  • Criminal code as a deterrent doesn’t work. The teens committing crimes are criminals, they could care less about the law, jail, police, whatever. They go to jail and come back heroes, with new skills learned.

    The current crop of teenagers is lost. Stop reacting to them and start working on their younger siblings who can be saved.

    Odentex, your energy, smarts and passion are great, but your efforts are misplaced.

  • “The current crop of teenagers is lost. Stop reacting to them and start working on their younger siblings who can be saved.”

    “Odentex, your energy, smarts and passion are great, but your efforts are misplaced.”

    But isn’t that what Odentex is saying – Mentor, intervene, educate, do whatever you can to help those who are not lost but throw the book at the ones who are lost.

  • GS: Yes and no. I really don’t think any amount of mentoring will help with someone who would chase someone down the street and shoot them multiple times. The “mentoring” involved in giving a known gun criminal a taxpayer-funded “job” with Jim Graham failed pretty spectacularly last week in broad daylight in Columbia Heights. Perhaps he should have shot the Grahamstander for better effect.

    What I’m saying is that mentoring is a solution to question that is not being asked here. The benefits of mentoring poor youth have nothing to do with keeping people safe in the community. It’s like offering me tourniquet when I’m having a heart attack. When people suggest “programs for the yoof” whenever a small number of people can’t follow the basic rules of humanity it’s just plain laughable. Laughable.

    The thug that shot this young man and the thug that shot two people last week in CH need to be locked up forever. Period. There is no mentoring, after-school program, hand-out, up-lift, or taxpayer subsidy to fill the gaping hole where their humanity should be. They are empty, useless, soulless and lost. The best thing for them and for us to lock them away where they can’t hurt anyone else or become an inevitable casualty themselves to a thug with a quicker trigger finger.

    “Forced mentoring” as some suggested here… well… I just have no words for how completely stupid that is.

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