Suspect Caught in Saturday’s Shooting on 14th Street, NW


Lots of folks sent me emails about Saturday’s shooting on the 2900 block of 14th Street, NW. Most folks sent me a WJLA report that mentioned that the woman killed was an innocent bystander. About the saddest news possible. Thankfully a suspect has been arrested. From a Mayor Fenty Press Release:

“Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Metropolitan Police Department Cathy L. Lanier announced today an arrest in the August 29, 2009 murder of 48-year-old Deborah Ann Brown.

Seventeen-year-old Devonte Carlton of the 1400-block of Girard Street, NW was arrested today and charged as an adult. Carlton is charge with Murder One While Armed.

Brown was shot on August 29, 2009 in the 2900 block of 14th Street, NW at approximately 9:30 p.m.

64 Comment

  • Now that my brother and sister in law are new denizens of Irving Street (and Warder) is this what they have to look forward to–being smoked as “innocent bystanders” while these junior thugs battle things out? Maybe the wingnuts in Congress and the Supreme Court have a point: give US guns, maybe? I’m just saying…I’d rather than statehood and a gatt than colonization and gun control. I’m no NRA member, but perhaps a few dead stick up artists or MS-13 wannabees blown off their bikes by a mom (be she white yuppie or black bougeois) pushing a stroller on Sherman might bring peace to your gentrified burg?

  • More guns – good idea. You think they take revenge on each other – what do you think would happen if a gentrifier killed one of their own. Wake up – more guns are NOT the answer!

  • Wow, that was a quick arrest, especially by MPD standards. I wonder if the guy is the real killer?

  • I have no problem with pushing people who act like this out. We don’t have to put them in jail. Just banish them from DC. If they can make laws that say sex offenders can’t live in certain areas then certainly we can make laws that say gun, gang, and violent offenders can’t live here. Push them out!

  • VOR i’m not quite sure why you would equte making a swift arrest with an injustice.

  • New Hampy:

    People like the voiceofreason only see injustice, they are incapable of seeing anything else.

  • Yes dc mom, we all continue to want to be held hostage by thugs breaking paper-thin gun laws.

  • Congratulations MPD on a quick arrest!

    As for the gun issue who is going to be more cold blooded in using a gun? If you put up a normal person vs. a worthless violent street thug, I’d say the street thug will probably will be a quicker draw. Do we really want to go down the Bernhard Goetz road (that incidentally DID NOT lead to a reduction in crime since it happened in the 1980s and New York didn’t see a serious reduction in crime for 10-15 years later)

    More guns on the streets will only mean violent thugs will feel in GREATER need to have a gun since they will be up against armed victims – armed victims that probably are less cold blooded and willing to use a gun than the the muggers.

  • Yay, good to hear he’ll be tried as an adult. All the children committing violent crimes in DC should face such a fate. I wonder if the prosecuters will actually see this through to the end so as to properly back up the good work of MPDC!?

  • a 17 year old from 14th and girard. now that is shocking.

  • I would like to thank Jay’O for the most rational and cogent argument against arming everyone in the neighborhood. I understand the natural response to want to get back at these people who are stealing our sense of safety and security, but things would only get worse with more guns.

  • Seventeen-year-old Devonte

    Nuff said. He’ll be out of jail before this lady’s kids get a chance to grow up. I guaranteed that the shooter wouldn’t be 21. Not even close. As such, no law, other than an outright ban which ain’t happening, would have kept him from obtaining a gun and using it. Start with what is in their heads, hearts, and their households, if you are going to start anywhere. Otherwise, why do anything at all?

    Jay’O Says:
    September 2nd, 2009 at 9:20 am
    More guns on the streets will only mean violent thugs will feel in GREATER need to have a gun since they will be up against armed victims – armed victims that probably are less cold blooded and willing to use a gun than the the muggers.
    Jay O,
    as it stands now, “cold blooded violent thugs” now face an unarmed victim. And they are still willing to shoot, beat, or kill. Arming the less cold blooded residents will at least provide some resistance. There are two ways to look at things.

  • Note the suspect is 17, a juvenile, and is not likely to do any serious time. He has probably already been released to his “parents” and will soon be sent to the New Beginnings youth rehab facility. He will have completely paid his debt within a year at the most and be back on the block. Anyone living in 3D should try and track this, but note no information is released on juveniles criminals so you probably can’t learn anything.

    The WashPost has more on this, a rare break from their non-reporting tradition, see:

  • It has been reported that the shooting was motivated by a beef between a 14th and Girard gang and a 13th and Columbia gang. Could it be that all these gang members all residents of the sprawling Columbia Heights Village project?

    I have always been very leery of walking south of the DC USA complex (and even a little leery driving) on 14th Street worried that I might be shot as an innocent bystander. Sadly, Deborah Ann Brown proves that my paranoia has some basis in reality.

  • Note the above WaPo article also mentions the suspect in the June shooting that wounded two people outside Five Guys, Devyn Black, who was an intern for CM Graham. If you’re interested, you can track Mr. Black in the court system here:

    You can search by his name, the search can be a bit dodgy but it does often give results. For now, Mr. Black is being held with no bond, and his next hearing is 9/28, where I think it will be decided whether he can go to trial. If you want to influence this case, you can contact:

    Lenney Lowe
    Third District
    1620 V Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20009
    Phone: (202) 671-1892
    Fax: (202) 671-1873
    [email protected]

    and ask to make a Community Impact Statement on the issue. Apparently, such statements need to be received for a judge to consider that the crime actually upset people. As far as I understand, “our” judges are federal appointees and generally do not live in DC and thus probably don’t understand what its like to live among the most pathetic people on the planet.

  • Nate said: as it stands now,

  • Woops I stand corrected on the above, the suspect is being charged as an adult. So, in this case you can contact the USAO mentioned above and request to make a Community Impact Statement.

    This is literally the first time I’ve heard of a juvenile charged as an adult. Does it happen often, anyone know?

  • I think this sites motto should be “don’t debate the nate”. It just encourages him.

  • This is the first time you’ve heard about a juvenile being charged as an adult in DC, or the first time you’ve heard of it ever? I don’t think it happens all the time, but I’m sure I’ve heard of it before in DC. Of course, just because I’m saying that, I can’t think of any specific case.

    There’s a story in the Post today about what it took for a reporter to get a gun legally in DC. I’m not a huge gun fan, but I found myself really bothered by how difficult it was to get a gun legally. Is that weird? I don’t want a gun myself, but I don’t think people should have to jump through all these particular hoops if THEY want a gun. Maybe SOME hoops…I don’t mind requiring the a gun handling class if you can’t demonstrate gun handling experience. But this seems to go well beyond that.

  • “Sadly, more guns on the streets will just result in more blood on the street. What we need is the guys LEGALLY with guns – MPD to be more effective in preventing crime.”

    VA does not have more blood on the street and you can walk into a restaurant with a gun on your hip. Don’t give me that DC is different. Maybe the people are different. But there is no reason why guns on the street would result in more violence. DC’s gun ban was overturned and murders are DOWN. Stop blaming the guns and blame the people.

  • @Pennywise: This is definitely NOT the first time that a juvenile has been charged as an adult in the District. The USAO has the discretion to decide to charge as adults kids as young as 15 who are accused of certain Index crimes. IN reality, when these crimes are alleged, the USAO rarely, if ever, decides not to charge the kid as an adult.

  • It didn’t rain much this July and August, and murders are down. Obviously, this must mean rain is the cause of murder.

  • I wrote a paper in high school about gun control and children. There was a statistic I found that had a high rate of people (I think it was close to 50 percent) who owned guns having the gun used against them in an assailant situation. Wish I could find such a statistic now but I didn’t and I’m not spending hours to do so. Besides, statistics can be utilized to make an argument better when the statistic was actually used improperly.

    I was across the street from the shooting that happened on the northbound side of 14th street north of Columbia Road around 10 pm on a Friday or Saturday earlier this year. It was one of the scariest things I’ve witnessed because I have never seen a gun up close. All these incidents that have happened this year in CoHi just make me wary of the neighborhood and how easy it is to get caught in crossfire. I am glad MPD was able to charge someone for this crime as it was just a horrible thing to have happen.

  • Nate: Yeah, you’re right – the people are different (more concentrated, urban poverty in DC) and therefore more robberies, assaults, etc. Of course I’m not saying if you’re poor you’ll be a violent thug, but let’s face it – there’s a correlation between poverty and crime in America and most parts of the world.

    So yeah, I think carrying guns out in the middle of nowhere is fine. I also don’t see a problem with carrying a gun in a place with low crime – where you probably will never have to defend yourself.

    But when regular people are up against a psycho assailant, I just think we’ll have the regular people getting shot a lot more often than the “I’ve got nothing to loose” violent thug!

  • future dissertation: global warming and urban crime.

  • At the bottom of the article about Devonte Carlton, the Post quotes Chief Lanier saying that detectives follow up on shootings even when no one is killed “to keep it from happening.”

    Ladies and gentlemen, that’s our MPD.

  • Just a thought, maybe the possibility that the woman you see walking alone after dark may have more than cash in that purse is a deterrent that will keep many incidents from happening at all. At that point, you’d need a real, loaded, working piece to going after her, and then you’d have a murder charge hanging over you rather than an armed robbery you’ll never see time for.

  • NAB and everyone else thumping their armchairs for civilian gun ownership: you’re off-topic here. Deborah Brown was not the victim of a robbery, she was an innocent bystander caught in a crossfire. People toting handguns to deter robberies are likely to create MORE such homicides, not fewer.

  • Jay says..
    “So yeah, I think carrying guns out in the middle of nowhere is fine. I also don

  • rdo, any way to check how many juveniles are charged as adults? My standard gripe is that most juvie crime seems to be largely unpunished, which would be negated if many were charged as adults. Any info appreciated…

  • @Disaffected in DC

    I feel you there. 14th St. south of DC USA is way too dangerous for me, I walked through there once and night and won’t ever be doing that again.

  • On guns, let me say I have always had guns, grew up with guns, know them very well, am a crack shot (though not in competition since 1986 or so), and firmly believe in a persons right to armed resistance and self protection. I keep a legally registered shotgun at home, and in general the only thing I am missing is an NRA card (them guys are crazy!). With that said, I did consider carrying a pistol in DC for a while for basic self defense, then I realized almost 100% of shooting deaths outside of thug-on-thug violence were either ambushes or innocent bystanders, where the first or second bullet did the killing and generally came “out of the blue”. A pistol is not going to help in these situations, ie these are not gunfights, they’re ambushes and murders. You can of course hand over your wallet when robbed, then shoot the perp in the back, but you’d face charges on that, plus the guilt of killing over dollars like the thugs do. In short, there’s very little gain to carrying a pistol as a law abiding citizen in DC.

  • @Mark, that comment by the Chief floored me too.

  • Has anyone tried to declare those projects on the nuisance property list? Just saying… they seem to fit the description.

    Also, anyone interested in creating a non-profit that lent Kevlar suits to residents so they can harass the thugs without fear of personal injury, almost like an ironman suit… could be sweet.

  • The only thing we should be carrying is our voter registration card. I do not believe we can tame these animals. We should demand that these large crime ridden public housing/section 8/affordable housing…whatever you want to call it, buildings be removed. And hell yes move them to another neighborhood that is not “gentrifying”, and then when that neighborhood changes, move it again. Remember: Change is Good! Why can’t the less fortunate enjoy that experience as well?

    Vote out in mass the council members that do not support safe streets for those of us that follow the laws (at least as they pertain to violent crime) and that pay taxes based upon what we expect to receive from our government in services and safety for the community as a whole (and that most definetely applies to the majority of “long term” residents that do not commit violent crime as well).

  • GD it! One of my a**hole neighbors bet me (no money) that the perpetrator would have a ridiculous name and damnit, they caught him and he does. Now I’m going to have to deal with his racist musings for at least a week.

  • @Pennywise, if a young person is charged as an adult, those records are public. The USAO has the numbers you’re talking about. However, they are generally reluctant to release them as they also indicate that the USAO’s discretion to NOT charge as an adult when possible is never utilized. You may try contacting them.

    Also, it is a mis-perception that kids in the District are not charged as adults. In 2007 there were over 42 youth housed at the D.C. Jail who were charged as adults. Further, simply charging kids as adults in larger numbers doesn’t have the effect on public safety that you may think it would. Kids charged as adults are more likely to re-offend more quickly and more seriously than those not in the adult system. It is counter-intuitive, I know, but it is backed by hard evidence, not anecdotes.

    Feel free to check out these sources:
    Bishop, D., Frazier, C., Lanza-Kaduce, L., & White, H. (1999). Fact sheet # 113: A study of juvenile transfers to criminal court in Florida. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice,
    Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs.

    Fagan, J. (1996). The comparative advantage of juvenile vs. criminal court sanctions on recidivism among adolescent felony offenders. Law and Policy, 18(1-2). Online request for
    the article can be made at

  • Thank God he’s being tried as an adult. I read the story this morning with dread, waiting for the usual Post Doesnt Release the Names of Juveniles crap. Imagine my surprise that he’ll actually be held accountable for this murder.

    Of course, in DC killing a working class woman is going to net this sob 20 years tops.

  • One woman dead, one teen going to prison for a long time (though not holding my breath on that one), and for what? Probably some kind of “disrespecting” beef or perceived slight. Hope it was worth it, asshole.

  • Just keep buying the houses in the neighborhood. The more professionals who live and own in the neighborhood the better the neighborhood will be. We’ll vote out the enablers in office and we won’t stand for this kind of behavior.

  • Hope they lock the bastard up and lose the f-ing key. Debbie Brown was a former co-worker of mine. She had tough times but was always cheerful, kind and generous. She worked 12 hours a day. I’ve known her since she was twenty and for her to end up like this because of some little souless monster….

  • According to the August 2009 DC Preservation Catalog, Columbia Heights Village got a failing grade of 48 from DCHFA. Maybe DCHFA should foreclose on the property and re-develop it through a HOPE VI grant or some other New Community thingy. Just a suggestion….

  • My point was only that given what we all know about how the MPD operates (or fails to operate as the case may be), my level of trust that they got the right guy so quickly is significantly diminished. But that’s what a trial is for.

  • This will probably sound awful, but I think the only thing that will enact lasting change in crime rates is if the next innocent bystander is a white professional. It will make the WaPo’s front page and then the police and city council will feel compelled to do something meaningful.

  • If by something meaningful you mean a couple weeks worth of “all hands on deck” and some press conferences, you are absolutely right.

  • No – it will mean cleaning up the projects. If we really want to reduce crime, we’d move the projects out of DC completely. Living in the city is not a right. It’s something you should have to earn through years of hard work and education.

  • @2:30, just a point of speculative disagreement. Richer people coming in does not necessarily lead to the bad element moving out. DC’s — and particularly CH’s — gentrification very much has been based on inclusionary zoning and isn’t your grandfather’s gentrification. I’m afraid people can move in all they want, but 14th and Girard is still going to suck.

    I’d actually say move out, or don’t come in the first place. The District needs and wants higher income and property tax dollars that are attached to folks who generally don’t demand a lot of services (very cynically, that was the whole point of Mayor Williams’ 100k new residents policy). But it either doesn’t want to or simply can’t provide a level of services/public safety commensurate to those tax dollars. The Council and other public officials will make a lot of noises, hem & haw, Grahamstand, etc. when things like this happen, but until the District starts losing its tax base in a way explicitly tied to its failure successfully to manage the city and demand real public safety, it’s all lip service. Your power isn’t in the voting booth so much as it is on the tax rolls. Cut off DC’s allowance, and maybe you’ll see a change.

  • Anon 4:57 – unfortunately, the side of the spectrum that runs this city doesn’t understand what hard work is and can accomplish. Giving people something tends to make them less appreciative over time, thus taking it for granted. Moving the projects would mean moving the votes, what current politician is going to do that? Too much entitlement in our society has bankrupted the governments… two choices – less government or more taxes.

  • I think everyone agrees that public housing on 14th St. is a nightmare, but you can’t legally (or ethically) arbitrarily decide that anyone so poor that they live in public housing is banished from the District of Columbia. Who, pray tell, will determine who’s “good enough” to live in the city? And where will you put those not “good enough?” Wouldn’t every community just reject those deemed unfit? That’s a ridiculous premise.

    What one can do, legally, is enforce the rules that exist as to who can’t live in public housing– convicted felons, convicted drug dealers, anyone not on the lease–and enforce them strictly. If grandma knows her grandson got convicted for slinging drugs, or carrying a gun, and lets him crash in her pad, she’s out. If someone’s baby’s daddy wants to sneak in and mooch off the single female parent who is the sole lessee, she’s out on her butt, too. Enforcing the existing rules would go some way toward moving the problem people out of CH. Some percentage of those folks would move beyond this area to find another place to live, and maybe, just maybe, a small number would actually realize life isn’t about mooching off someone else, and try to find some legal way to support themselves once they don’t have grandma to support their lazy asses.

  • Totally agree with you on the existing rules, Jim. No point in having new rules when you don’t enforce the ones you’ve got. The tools are in the toolbox already, we just don’t use them. Just wanted I’d throw that in before someone jumps on you with the semantic “that’s not ‘public housing’ on 14th Street” point.

  • not good enough can be defined by not having a job if you’re not legally disabled and not a senior citizen.

    I’m definitely for programs that give cops, firemen, teachers, etc. special loans and maybe even grants towards a down payment towards a home, but other forms of subsidized housing that perpetuate poverty in which people who do nothing are giving a free ride should cease. That is the problem.

  • I agree with Anon 6:29. When I supported public housing I had NO IDEA what went on in public housing. I thought for sure that residents were required to work on the property (saw them on TV) and were required to go to job training (saw that on TV) or were required to undergo drug tests (heard about that). Once I learned what public housing really was- the racist plan to keep generations of black people of learning how to fend for themselves- then I was against it. But as a liberal, you have to see that to understand it, otherwise it doesn’t make sense.

    I believe we should shut down public housing for adults. Shut all of it down. What’s the solution for kids? Don’t know yet.

  • Jim and Neener have interesting yet seemingly implausable points. Clearly there is an extremely strong association between DC’s public housing complexes and the insane juvenile and adult crime that we are continually confronted with like every 3rd day, but to think that any politician or manager in DC will be able to shut them down, subject their tenants to agressive testing/enforcement, or create an altogether different system in our lifetime might be a bit off mark. Christ, they routinely let KNOWN teenage violent offenders back on the street, like constantly. The police even complain about it.

    And so what if the housing were gone, the concentrated thug pockets and nearly mogadishu-like child gunplay would still occur (just watch the little rascals, kids like hanging out in gangs and goofing around, they now just like to prove they are tough with lead to the chest). The tie between the culture and industry of violence and thuggery, as well as the illegitimate business practices of a thriving underground drug trade that runs high, so co-mingled with children as they grow up learning and imitating bad behavior, and 50 years of entrenched ill-mannered families, and new populations of non-US born folk who live perhaps by a different standard when it comes to taking human life, and the longstanding mess of subsidized public living just seems so central yet nearly insurmountable. But whoTF am I to know, I just marvel at the amount of youth gunplay here in the nation’s capital. The adults are just so at a loss to know how to solve it.

  • Can we go back to public hangings? Maybe 14th and Girard gangsters will finally get the message.

  • Just an anecdote from a bizarre weekend that seemed more tense to me than most this summer (strange kind of violent energy in the air):

    I’m outside the Wonderland, sober, where I’d locked up my bike at about 4am Saturday morning. I’m looking north up 11th street at what appears to be a fire past Park when I hear someone across the street yell “Cracker.” [Full disclosure: I’m a white dude] I look over sort of confused as she continues “Fucking honkey-ass hillbilly crackers!”

    So I respond “Where?”

    This sends her into a real frenzy screaming about what a cracker I am and how white people are ‘movin’ in’ punctuated by several seemingly random exclamations of ‘Obama!’ So I just decide to let it go. She keeps walking by but then is moved to say ‘Little Dick.’

    So then I start laughing. This elicited another concussion of abuse.

    I’m not the best at holding my tongue and this woman must be about four hundred pounds and I have my bike, so I’m about to lay into her when she steps into the orbit of street light and I see that she has like a four-year-old kid with her! She’s literally hurling the most profanity-laden invective I’ve ever heard at megaphone levels at 4am with a kid who’s probably not even in school yet! And I’m thinking no way I’m going to say anything hateful and profane in front of a kid, and here this lady is doing that with one that is presumably her own!

    It made me really sad. What chance does that kid have to become a decent person, let alone a civic-minded inhabitant of the neighborhood? How paranoid is he going to be about ‘crackers’? And how much is this paranoia going to be reinforced by the many alarmist and intellectually lazy comments in this blog? How long are we going to rally along imaginary lines in the us/them bind when the point of a neighborhood is that we all look out for one another?

    There is something depressingly perpetual about it. And then there’s the old adage that could be step one in breaking the cycle:

    Think before you speak.

  • We wouldn’t treat DOGS the way we treat poor kids in this country.

    If you keep a dog chained up and abused from the time he’s a puppy, nobody is surprised when he turns out mean. And the people responsible are quite rightly liable to abuse/neglect charges.

    Raise a kid on a steady diet of TV, junk food, and abuse/neglect, and nobody should be surprised if they end up as criminals. But the parents get off scot-free.

    Have all the public hangings you want; as long as kids aren’t being parented, the pipeline will remain full of criminals-in-the-making.

  • Root, sorry you find the idea that the city should enforce the regulations for public housing “implausible.” Personally, I’m not ready to just sigh and say “nothing we can do, so get used to it.”

  • Publius, lol at your “Where?” response. I wonder if she’s on the neighborhood welcoming committee. That story is bizarre but unfortunately all-too-believable in the bizarro world that is DC race relations.

  • Publius – yeah, a pretty funny (“where?”) and sad story (the rest). But let’s all remember that what we remember are the highlights of bad DC race relations. The times we walk down the street and someone smiles at another race, or at least people just calmly pass eachother on the side walk – these instances don’t get blogged about. I’d say 99% of my interactions with “long-time” residents has been good.

    When those cracker comments come out, I take them for what they are: fear-based from people that feel incredibly weak, powerless and scared that they will be somehow “removed” from the neighborhood. It must suck living like that…

    But most of the time it’s like this:

    Just the other day I met an old timer on the street and he was complaining about the dirty alley. I suggested he call 311 and we lamented the folks who just can’t seem to put their trash cans in their back yards. It was a lovely day and I had no cracker comments…

  • Publius, remember the klan also gets to come here and say whatever they want, and did so vociferously in the past, so it all evens out eventually. Just smile, nod, and invest in corrections companies (Corrections Corporation of America etc) and makers of type 2 diabetes drugs (Merck and the rest). You’ll profit nicely in the long run, and you can invest that money in perhaps helping one of these kids via adoption, scholarships, etc.

  • “This will probably sound awful, but I think the only thing that will enact lasting change in crime rates is if the next innocent bystander is a white professional.”

    Sad, but true. Gangs in LA were killing each other for years with little attention from law enforcement until a couple of gangbangers decided to shoot it out in Westwood and in the process put a bullet in the head of a non-black, non-poor college student who just happened to be in the way. That’s when the police decided to crack down. The message – If you want to kill yourselves in your own crappy hood, be our guests; but when you bring that nonsense to the high rent district and people who matter get caught in the crossfire, it’s game on.
    It’s no accident that this case was closed so quickly. An awful lot of money has been poured into making the DC USA development successful. The success of the development depends on getting people from other neighborhoods to come there and spend money. If people believe that they are going to get caught in a crossfire during a shopping or eating trip, they’ll jump in a ZipCar and head to the Target in Alexandria. The City is not going to allow these thugs to drive the people who matter away from that area. There is too much money at stake. Sad, but true. Some of the thugs haven’t gotten the message yet, but they will.

  • Marcus, that is a ridiculously oversimplified view of events. A quick arrest was made because multiple witnesses came forward, as stated in the Post story. This exception to the “no snitchin'” code that is so rigorously adhered to by local thugs is what’s different about this case. No white conspiracy here.

  • It’s not a matter of black and white, it’s a matter of economics. There are shootings that happened a block or two from this one two or three years ago, before the new economic development, that are still unsolved. If you think that more effort is not being put into solving a shootout in a major commercial corridor in NW than a shootout in an alley in SE, you’re dreaming.
    Colbert King said it best:

    Ian Davis, worldwide managing director of management consulting firm McKinsey & Co., wrote a short essay this spring about how the business landscape will change after the current economic downturn. He spoke of a “new normal,” a reshaping so fundamental that businesses will not return to their pre-crisis state. “To succeed in the new normal,” he wrote, executives must focus on what has changed.
    That’s happening in the District.
    Our city executives speak of making the District a “world-class city.”
    That “new normal” view embraces bike paths and a bicycle center at Union Station, townhouses and parks along the Potomac, couples eating al fresco at neighborhood coffee shops, doggy parks, schools befitting the middle class, and poor people who behave themselves and patiently wait their turn.
    The city’s chosen means for coping with a crisis shaped by self-destructive forces and a shifting civic landscape? The medical procedure, triage.
    Officials won’t say it this way, but this is what it means: dividing our social order into three groups — those who aren’t going to make it, those who might and those who will.
    To be sure, we still give lip service to our belief in children, family and community life. But our actions speak otherwise.
    Those men found dead from gunshot wounds; the kids in far Northeast feuding and fighting with guns; the moms and dads too worn out, too wigged out or too self-absorbed to raise their children? The District’s answer: Y’all cut and shoot all you want, just keep it over there.
    To those resilient enough to stay alive and keep on their feet? The District’s answer: Get as far away as you can from those who are about to self-destruct, and we might have a place for you.
    As for the city’s talented, educated and emerging middle class? They are the District’s new center of gravity. They, indeed, are the real beneficiaries of D.C. government deference.
    Faced with a steady stream of broken families, unrelenting criminality and community dysfunction, the District of Columbia has, albeit unwittingly, restructured and accommodated itself to a new social order.
    And the teenage shootouts? Pay them no mind.
    The new normal has arrived in D.C.

  • @ Pennywise and Jay’O: You all are absolutely right: some perspective is illuminating. Being called a cracker or anything pejorative represents about .000001% of my experiences in DC. Funny, type II diabetes was one of the insults I had at-the-ready.

Comments are closed.