Another Brazen Daytime Shooting in Petworth

This awful brutal insane shooting war continues. Around 4:15 or 4:30pm there were multiple shots on the 4000 block of 4th St, NW. This is right near a shooting that took place Sat. night, not to mention the previous shootings that have occurred over the past 3 weeks around Shepherd St, NW.

Again, this shooting is that much more frightening because it took place in the daytime when parents are literally walking and pushing their children in strollers. I just returned from the scene and I must’ve seen around 20 of those white cards indicating shells on the ground. Nearby residents believe a car may have been involved in the shooting. This is terrifying.

I’ve gotten emails from multiple residents who are scared, angry, frightened and absolutely fed up. That’s pretty much all I can say in this post. Everyone is fed up. The situation is horrible. It appears nobody was hit this afternoon so there is not likely to be a large media reaction. I don’t mean to question tactics but clearly something has got to change. Can tactics help mitigate what is clearly a gang/crew war with retaliation after retaliation?

There is a crime meeting scheduled for Sat. morning. From Councilmember Bowser:

“Oct. 9 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

St. Gabriel’s Church, School Hall
510 Webster Street, NW

Cathy Lanier, Chief of Police; Kimberly Missouri, Commander, Fourth District; Robert Hildum, Interim Director, Department of Youth and Rehabilitation Services; and Karen Feinstein, Executive Director, Georgia Avenue/Rock Creek East Family Support Collaborative will join me for an in-depth review of recent criminal activity and actions initiated to thwart crime in Petworth. I am also asking MPD to be prepared to discuss block captain training and sign-up for the neighborhood watch program.”

96 Comment

    • I don’t know why this is a shock/outrage to anyone. If there were NO shootings in Petworth all Fall I would call THAT insane (in a good way)…

      Its like the people from Navy Yard on the news saying they are shocked that it was ranked one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country. They think this is a shock because they live in the super expensive new high rises and have no idea what the real neighborhood is like 4 blocks away.

      • Right. If there was no crime in petworth home prices would be a lot more no? In other words. In order to reap the rewards of investing in a gentrifying neighborhood you have to take the good with the bad. If it was easy everyone would do it. There is a reason you can buy a house for 350k here. Ten years from now you’ll all be sitting pretty. But nobody said gentrifying was an easy gig.

      • So just because it’s a gentrfying neighborhood people shouldn’t be shocked or outraged that it’s getting shot up all the time?

        I think everyone here understands the basic concept behind gentrification, that’s a given and there’s no reason to explain basic concepts about the cause and effect relationships to neighborhoods and real estate value (Crime causes it to go down?! Really? Thanks super smart real estate king!).

        So, gentrifying people, don’t be shocked or outraged. Sit there complacently and accept the world around you without ever doing or engendering anything. That’ll help.


        • shocked: no.
          outraged: of course.

          two totally different things.

          • Oh you get the point. I don’t really have to spell it out, do I?

          • dolph,
            if you’re going to the trouble of spelling it, be correct.

          • Right! Exactly. I’m going to trouble now because that makes sense.

            Hey everyone, let’s go to trouble of spelling things!

            Okay, now I will go *through* the trouble of spoonfeeding you, fool.

            I replied to the comments by Dago5 and anan @ 9:04 and 9:14 PM (That’s eastern time zone, in case that’s unclear to you). If you open up your wretched eyes, you’ll see that Dago5 said, and I quote, ” don’t know why this is a shock/outrage to anyone.” Hence, I said it’s understandable why shootings should still shock/outrage people, regardless of where they live. I then also took a dig at “anan” because he so uselessly started mentioning obvious and tacit facts regarding the nature of real estate valuations when, really, that are so elementary that it goes without saying.

            DO YOU SEE THAT? DO YOU? Thanks.

            I hope you’re paid to be stupid on daily basis, that seems to be the only way you’d be worth anything.

          • Now I’m going to go to trouble and recognize that I left an “a” above in the last sentence. Get over it.

          • dolphin,

            stop frothing man. it’ll be okay.
            and yes. i pay to be stupid. it makes me feel thinner too. thanks for noticing.

      • The reason the people in Navy Yard are questioning the numbers is it’s still not densely populated. The survey was per 1,000 people.

      • Um, actually, there have been zero homicides in the neighborhood since 2004. (Navy Yard area, along the L Street SE corridor)

  • Anyone running against Vincent Gray in the general election should run very hard against crime if for no other reason than to force Gray to address the issue that causes his constituents to live in fear and hopelessness.

    • You know no one is really running against Gray in the general right? The big game in DC is the primaries, so that was the chance to make crime an issue. If you noticed, crime was never really discussed by any of the candidates. In their world, crime is statistics, and the statistics are trending favorably. They don’t have to walk these streets so its really not an issue for them, I am sorry to say.

      The politics are pretty simple: any crime crackdown would result in lots of black men being arrested, which would cause an uproar. Thus, we address crime via the “carrot” sorts of things, like talking about education and jobs. Personally I think that’s the wrong track, but I recognize I am a distinct minority in the polity.

  • Everyone is fed up, but is everyone willing to do the hard work to solve the problem? I hope so, but I’m not optimistic.

  • bfinpetworth

    I hope there is a huge showing at this meeting on Saturday. We, the residents, need a show of force to demand concrete action on the part of the MPD and the city. Petworth has made so much progress but if this recent spell of violence continues, that progress is going to severely undermined. Pretty streetscapes aren’t worth much if you’re afraid to walk on them!

  • Hey “Prince of Petworth,” wheres your sick “good deal or not” down the street from this shooting in its immediate wake? What, nothing to joke about when its in your backyard, you ignorant, insensitive, hypocrite? Your faux-outrage sickens me.

  • Stupid….

  • Prince Of Petworth

    I think this person is talking about a GDoN post that went up after the U Street shooting. Unfortunately that house was pre-selected before the shooting occurred. I place my posts in a queue everyday that publish automatically. I am sure most people realize I would never ever make a joke of a shooting wherever it happens to take place.

    • Yes, most people DO realize that. Keep up the good work, man.

      • Yes but the site didn’t take the post down afterwards, either.

        • When there is a shooting, houses dont cease to exist. So in your world, when something tragic happens, there’s a moratorium on unrelated discussions within the same geographic area? Why stop at limiting GDONs to U Street? Why not all of NW or the entire city?

          Your pathetic grandstanding is transparent. Shut up.

        • stage a boycott then.

  • Uh… that was weird. PoP, thanks for keeping on top of this and publicizing the community meeting.

  • If I remember correctly, we had a meeting on violence in Petworth last year around this time. It was nice to get educated on crew activity, community and police efforts. If I remember, a series of murders culminating with a homicide in front of Safeway sparked that meeting, which was well attended.

  • do you think this was related to coates funeral?

  • I’m just so frustrated, and sad. I’ll be there on Sat.

  • If you email Brandon Todd at [email protected] and tell him that you will distribute flyers on your block in order to publicize this meeting, he will make sure that they are delivered to you. It’s important that community members who do not have internet access also know about this meeting and have the opportunity to participate. If you are serious about working together to stop this violence and serious about holding our elected officials accountable for actions they said they would take last year in a similar meeting, please email him and distribute flyers on your block and beyond.

  • No freakin’ way will I show up. Did you guys read the post about retaliation? Meetings won’t solve this. A change in the laws might. Mandatory sentences (long ones) for anyone caught with guns/ammo, violent youth offender registry, huge offense if caught with gun in car, zero tolerance for crews, zero tolerance for crews using youth as militia. And how about civil disobedience, don’t pay DC taxes until the Council, DYRS, the Mayor, Congress, and President Obama get real about this. Where is the freakin’ FBI and DOJ? How about Natl Guard helicopters too! Criminy!

  • So, you guys buy into a developing neighborhood and are then ‘shocked’ and ‘outraged’ when there are some shootings, ehh?

    Well I bought not too far from here, but I am not shocked or outraged. Nor am I surprised. I understand what I did.

    It’s always all about “you” with you guys.

    Try to realize that, like generations before you in your neighborhood, if you shut up and keep quiet you are going to be fine.

    You are playing a waiting game. Realize that.

    Don’t worry, Petworth isn’t going to become a slum. Your property value won’t plummet. A spate of murders in Rosedale will come along next month and all will be forgotten.

    Of course, I want my neighborhood to be safer too. I really do. But a public meeting isn’t gonna do anything. A few more cop cars isn’t gonna do anything. You just have to wait for more new blood. But you can go to the meeting and get crazy if it will make you feel better. It sucks to feel powerless.

    And if anybody here says “well MY children need to be safe” or something emotional appeal like that, they should look no further than themselves.

    • The neighborhood was “developed” long before “we” got here! It just sucks now.

    • Actually, that’s not what my neighbors who grew up here say at all–to wait it out. They want to be involved and they want me to be involved. For many, it has nothing to do with property values. I’m not shocked that these shootings have happened. This is a reality of a community has a group of young people who don’t see much opportunity. I don’t have an emotional appeal for my kid because we can move if we want to. I do have an emotional appeal for the kids that can’t. Because kids who grew up with failing schools and played on playgrounds littered with drug debris and gang graffiti are the kids and young adults involved in this violence. If you don’t want to go to the meeting, that’s fine. But you’re not powerless. Head over to the Petworth Rec Center and pick up roach butts (that would be marijuana not the insect) every morning before kids come to play or pick up litter on your walk to and from the metro. Those actions make a difference in a community and not necessarily in terms of property values. In this case, it is about “you.” Your property value may continue to go up if you don’t do anything. The rest of us have a greater investment in our community than just our property value and will work towards it.

    • First of all, as the case of Deborah Ann Brown who was murdered on her way home from work on 14th Street shows, “keeping quiet” didn’t do much when it came to catching a stray bullet.

      As PoP notes, over 20 rounds were fired on 4th Street this afternoon. 20 rounds that failed to hit their target while children were walking home from school and mothers were pushing babies in strollers.

      We’re not dealing with marksman here, we’re dealing with immature little boys whose gun training doesn’t consist of much more than watching “Scarface” too many times.

      And while you seem pretty comfortable with your investment opportunity I’m wondering if you’ve installed bullet-proof glass in your windows.

      Second, it isn’t just about those of us who have recently moved to this neighborhood (“developing” is a strange word for a 100 year old neighborhood). People who have lived here all their lives are just as pissed. It’s pretty damn clear you’ve never been to one of these meetings, because if you had been you’d know that “old timers” always outnumber the busy new residents of Petworth by a vast, vast sum.

      I hope you feel good about your investment. To me living in a city where young men’s lives are discounted by those playing a “waiting game” isn’t much of an existence.

    • If you’re not outraged, you’re part of the problem and we (new and old) would rather you left our neighborhood and did not come back.

      • stupid attitude. straight outta dubya’s manual.

        • Which manual is that? Running the Texas Rangers? Going to Yale? Living in Crawford, Texas? Being president?

          The above comment is so stupid it deserves to be lampooned forever and forever. Try again clown.

          • yeah? i was recalling bush and his speech where he condemned other nations that didn’t take the same preemptive anti terrorist approach that we took.

            if you are not with us, you are against us. you may like that. but i dont and i think its fucking stupid to isolate people that way. you think a person can’t be a positive member of the community because they don’t focus on crime? bully for you. think what you want.
            but i know people handle their lives and their contributions to their community in many ways, and i’ll take whatever they have to give.

            lampoon away asshole.

    • I bet you don’t recycle either. It starts with one person. A public meeting can make a difference, but with anything..numbers matter. You should come. Be part of the neighborhood, instead of just “you”

      • I plan to attend the meeting Saturday and hope that as many of you that can attend will do so. I agree that numbers are incredibly important for these meetings simply as an illustration that people care enough to be involved. I am the ANC for 4D06 and it is so much more gratifying to everyone present when people show up for monthly ANC and PSA meetings as well as the non-routine meetings like this one.

    • Feel good about yourself now that you get to tell everyone that you are better than us because you bought in this area and arent shocked or outraged??

      A. I do not have children but everyones kids need to be safe. I would like to be safe at 4pm walking home too. If you think that’s too much to ask for then I think your standards are too low.

      B. I think your suggestion of how to live in this area is pathetic. Wait it out for new blood to come in , don’t try and change anything, don’t get involved , accept that you are powerless and wait. Take your own advice – take a look at yourselve. You are part of the issue in this area. You accept the violence as the norm.

      Clearly you are worried about the value of your house.
      Many of us are concerned about the safety of the memebers of our homes.

  • For those interested in the Saturday meeting:

    To avoid any more wasted time I suggest that anyone who is interested e-mail Muriel Bowser and Chief Lanier (and Cmd. Missouri so she can forward it on to the Chief) and ask them to specifically address each point from the proposed action plan they formulated last year.

    This need not be combative. But I think people have a right to know exactly what has and hasn’t been done since last year. If things haven’t been done then we can ask why. If it’s a matter of money and resources we need to know so we can find out. My recollection from the last time I was involved in this sort of thing was that Chief Lanier was adamant that MPD had all the resources they needed to do the job. If that is still the case then I think we are entitled to know why certain things haven’t been done. Were the plans unworkable? Did they just fall though the cracks?

    Once we understand what has and hasn’t been done I think we need to assure them that this isn’t about finger-pointing, it’s about getting it done now.

    Also, if resources for these various issues have been allocated for each of there priorities we need to know the facts. How many, when, where, and how. Specifics and data from 2009 (when these changes were promised) so we can, as Muriel herself put it, all be working from the same set of facts.

    For instance, to paraphrase what an earlier poster on a previous message said:

    The plan called for “compliance safety checks in Petworth.” What’s the increase since 2009? What’s the total number? What’s the plan for the future?

    The plan called for “foot beat patrols to extend beyond 8 p.m. and extend into noncommercial areas.” What’s the increase since 2009? What’s the total number? Where are these beat patrols? What’s the plan for the future?

    The plan called for a “review current deployment for crime cameras and the needs of Petworth.” What was the result of the review? Are there plans to implement more cameras? Where? How many?

    The plan called for Muriel to “manage a list of Nuisance Properties/Hot List and agency coordination to address
    problems.” What were the results? How many properties in 4D have been put on the list? What happened with these properties? Is the list public?

    The plan called for Muriel to “work with interested community members and invite 2D CAC Chairman to conduct a block captains’ training session. Bowser will recruit 10 interested community members to get started.” Given the announcement for this meeting, I have a feeling this fell by the wayside. To be fair, if public involvement was as lax as I noted the last time I was attending these meetings, I don’t think this can be blamed on Muriel at all. She can’t draft people to be block captains.

    To me, as many of you know, the current state of DC firearm’s laws is a real problem. I am especially interested in the part of the plan where Muriel pledged to “check gaps in law for carrying a pistol without a license as a misdemeanor and address.” I’d like to know what she’s concluded. And if she’s concluded that the current laws for carrying in DC are fine I want to her from here how she justifies that. It’s pretty clear to me that we have an out-of-control gun culture in DC. This is coming from someone who grew up in Houston, Texas. We aren’t going to be able to get people to stop having disputes but I think we can encourage more people not to carry weapons if they honestly believe that it’s not worth the risk of real punishment.

    I’ve suggested elsewhere that it seems strange to me that we devote resources for “drug courts” in DC to intensely supervise people with substance abuse issues but we don’t devote similar resources to the much more deadly issue of gun violence and the out-of-control gun culture of DC. “Gun Courts” for first time adult and juvenile defendants that closely monitor and provide needed educational, vocational, emotional, and substance abuse assistance seem a no-brainer to me. Catch young men before they become shooters or victims. Get them out of the dysfunctional culture that they find themselves in. Give them a chance — if they complete the program then dismiss all charges so they aren’t burdened with a record. The other two parts that go hand-in-hand with this are real, non-negotiable, penalties for repeat offenders that take them off the streets and out of these retributive violence cycles like we are witnessing right now, and second, clearly and strongly announcing that the city has new laws that take guns seriously and that you will find yourself in jail should you repeatedly break the law.

    We need to e-mail (or call) Muriel and the Chief over the next few days and pose specific questions. I’m sure there are many things that I have failed to cover that need to be asked. I really think they need to be asked NOW rather than Saturday. Otherwise the meeting on Saturday is likely to be a rehash of vague ideas.

    I appreciate that Muriel and the Chief don’t want to be blamed for a perceived failure to get any this stuff done – I think we need to get beyond that. But just re-hashing the same old plan from last year without any specific data about the resources allocated to 4D is a mistake.


    Oh, and be sure to show up at St. Gabriel’s on Saturday at 11AM. As anyone who remembers my prior posts, I was discouraged to say the least at the lack of interest when these shootings were taking place along Georgia Ave a while back. If you don’t show interest in making this neighborhood safer, who will?

    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]

    • Odentex, very constructive post with excellent ideas. Plus one.

    • These are good points. In general though I think you’ll find Bowser is in way over her head on even the simplest issues. Basic correspondence is something her and her staff have yet to understand, its basically a “catch as catch can” sort of system in her office and a lot of stuff falls through the cracks.

      On your specific points, those “compliance safety checks” are equated with checkpoints, which the courts struck down earlier this year. There are lawsuits pending on these and they probably won’t be tried again anytime soon. Many of your other points (or her proposals, whatever you prefer) are impossible for budgetary reasons as they require more officers or more resources, which won’t happen as MPD like everyone else is cutting spending. Lastly, most of those points are the purview of the Cmte on Public Safety/Judiciary, which Mendelson heads, and Bowser has zero ability to move those things forward. She has no ability to tell MPD to do new and unique things. If Mendelson weren’t there it would be different, but he’s just been reelected as you know.

      I’d say a more promising route is to lobby Kwame Brown to replace Mendelson as the chair of the Cmte on Public Safety/Judiciary. I don’t think this is likely but its more possible than Bowser getting these steps through a “hostile” committee.

      Just my bits, don’t mean to insult or anything like that and please do correct me if I’m wrong.

      • Like I said in the first post Lanier has said over and over that budget isn’t an issue. We need to press her and Bowser on this. If it is, frankly there is nothing the city does that is more important than protecting the public and the next stop might be City Hall with as many neighbors as we can muster.

        Mendelson. What can I say. I don’t think he means to come across like an out-of-touch wonk. But to say listening to him speak makes one annoyed is like saying the sun sets in the west. Interesting idea about lobbying Kwame. He definately is not as disconected from reality as Professor Mendelson.

        • Whether we like it or not, Lanier and the rest of the MPD command has one main criteria: loyalty to the mayor. For them to say budgets are a problem would unleash a firestorm of partisan criticism, thus they’ll never say it no matter what the facts are.

    • Hot diggity dawg! Nice.

    • I emailed a copy of this to Bowser a few days ago, who replied (on the list serve) that all of her action items had been completed, and thus implied that they had done all that was necessary to keep the hood safe. comforting eh?

      oh and fyi…1030pm tonight (wed) drove past shepherd and illinois, big light was out, no one in the MPD truck. Squad car parked across the street, 2 patrol officers ASLEEP in the front seat. i shit you not. i drove around the block to pass by again just to confirm this.

  • PoP – any of the neighbors who are angry and frightened willing to finger the thugs who did this? Surely someone knows around there knows who was involved? Yeah there is a long term problem that needs to be solved with the youth, but the assholes who are dumb enough to pull the trigger need to be taken off the streets…until they run away from New Beginings.

    Or does No Snitching still prevail?

  • I’m just wondering why the only thing I got from Alert DC today was this:

    “FYI: The Woodrow Wilson Bridge will be opening at 10:00pm tonight for two sailing vessels. The opening is estimated to last 15 to 20 minutes.”

    My only area of interest I listed was Petworth!

    • The alerts are issued at the commanders discretion and some make more use of them than others. I get an awful lot for the downtown area and very few for anywhere else.

      I do wonder what those boats are though!

  • Odentex – your post is great, but I am still scared out of my wits to make myself publicly known as someone who is paying attention to this. Given as we all know the elected officials have been completely unable to solve this and the gun toting thugs still abound, I’d take my chances moving back to Texas.

    • There are plenty if good reasons to move back to Texas: better food, no 20′ snow drifts, less lawyers … 😉

      But seriously. Going to a meeting is not going to mark you as anything but a good neighbor. Join us.

    • I’m a proud cop-caller.. I think more people need to be.
      The criminal element feeds on fear.

  • It seems far-fetched to say that there would be retailation for attending the crime watch meeting. Maybe I’m naive, but is that a real concern people have. I see face-to-face confrontations being a problem but based on the meeting it seems less likely to me. Anyway, I planning on going to to Sat. meeting at this point.

    • If you are frightened to go to a crime watch meeting, you might have bought in the wrong neighborhood.

      Seriously, grow some sac.

  • Why. Why why why. Why do we need this violence? Why do we need murder incorporated? People. Suck.

    • I think it’s appropriate for all of us to keep in mind that it’s still a very small group of people that are responsible for these crimes even though their acts have such a great impact. The other sad truth is that we really have no idea how much of this can be prevented by taking gun possession seriously in this city. We’ve tried it one way for a very long time and while not nearly as many people get killed or maimed as they did a generation ago this city has never really addressed these issues forthrightly. It’s become an excepted practice to not intervene decisively in the lives of young men caught with weapons to their future detriment.

      While a lot of people are scared we must not forget that the people who are impacted the most are the ones needlessly dying and spending their broken lives in jail for murder. It’s a disgrace really that the city policy effectively differs little from some of the more divisive comments that suggest people being shot down on the street must somehow merit it.

  • I am really curious as to why Phil Mendelson is never at any of these types of meetings. He needs to be publicly called out more often so people will stop voting for him. At the very least maybe he will give up public safety.

    • He does show. But trying to talk seriously with him about public safety without him reverting to doubletalk is a chore. I don’t think he is a bad guy, but he is definately the perfect example of someone who has been far to long in power and become isolated from the realities of the communities he serves.

      • Mendelson seems to me to be in la-la land. Why hasnt he created mandatory sentences for gun possession and hard core juvenille crimes? Why isnt the city able to prosecute repeat juvenille offenders as adults?

  • me

    I’m tired of people blaming these incidences on gentrification. That really upsets me. There is no excuse for this type of behavior, to be shooting at random people in the middle of the day, no matter where we are. I don’t care if this is the worst neighborhood in the nation or the safest. Last I checked, we don’t live in Fallujah and this is not the way people are supposed to act.

    • Jen, I’m not sure anyone is blaming gentrification for this particular issue. There is a lot of anger around the idea that the city really didn’t care much about these issues until whites moved in. Whether that opinion is justified or not I think it’s safe to say that we ought to be moving forward looking for solutions if we can and that very clearly the city isn’t doing enough NOW — the whole city — not just the government downtown. Muriel is going to be asking people to become block captains at this meeting, for example, it’ll be interesting to see the results.

    • You’re part of “the plan” aren’t you?

    • Actually its not random and its a normal behavior for many. Whoever pulled the trigger thinks of it as a way to move up in their group, much like a career move. By shooting up the block the guy has done something good according to his norms and mores and was likely feted by his chums later that day. You may not understand it, but its perfectly sane and normal to the shooter.

      • Briefly, I think “many” is an overstatement here. It’s much easier to discount the credibility of people asking police and politicians to make some reforms when those inquiries have the tinge of hysteria. We can all agree that the mores of some people in this city leave something to be desired without haphazardly using a broad brush that can alienate a lot of potential allies.

        The vast majority of young men in this city are not only not likely to shoot up a street they also face being the victim of these types of crimes almost exclusively. We can’t forget that.

        • Oh right, I know, many is a relative term. I don’t think there’s more than a few thousand real thugs in the city. They may be lionized and praised by a much larger swath, but there’s very few of them at the end of the day. Which is why the law enforcement failures in this regard are so frustrating of course.

    • I agree if it were an issue of gentrification, they’d be shooting at the gentrifiers, robbing houses.
      These kids are the issue. The neighborhood has changed and this kind of behavior cannot be tolerated.
      I don’t see it as gentrification, but a return to normalcy.

  • Red Jeep. I’m sure the camera at the end of the block caught it. Lots of rounds.

  • There’s been a DC Police Winnebago (sp?) labelled with a “Weed and Seed” (federal neighborhood involvement program) parked infront of my building for like a week. Being at the corner of 14th and Girard, I’ve become de-sensitized to things like it but it begs some questions about resource allocation. Seems to me Petworth should be getting the increased attention (not that i mind in the slightest the increased pressence).

  • Blaming this on gentrification is ridiculous, does not get us anywhere and convenient for some on the left.

    The young people doing this may or may not be pissed off about gentrification. If that’s your thinking, you need to get your head out of Berkeley or Ann Arbor or Cambridge or New Haven or out of Busboys and Poets and Whole Foods or Westchester County or the Museum of Modern Art or the Iowa farm or small town Minnesota you call home.

    The young people doing this are incredibly angry, period.

    Methinks they feel they have no options. Like all teens and young people, peer pressure and the perceptions of their peers is everything.

    On some level they want a fast life and/or expect a very short life.

    They want lots now, sex, rap, hip hop and guns.

    Heck, I was young once: I wanted Jefferson Airplane, Beatles, Jimi Hedrix, Warhol movies, Yoko Ono, sex with cute guys, and had no use for friends’ parents who were right wing Navy Commanders during the Vietnam era or esteemed Harvard Divinity School professors who kicked in the TV set in at night at home in Belmont while walking Harvard Yard as the esteemed professor by day or were racist, white Irish Boston politicians or neighbors from South Boston ready to punch out the first black guy who was an “Outsidah.” The opinions of my friends who, I thought, were the coolest people on the planet meant everything – even the “old” 19 year old friend my Mom thought was high on dope when he showed up at our house. (He was.)

    The young people in our midst who are doing these awful things have that same alienation — and a dangerous access to guns and a cultural background that glorifies violence, worships violence. This aspect of the culture also has a self-preservation aspect of this, as confusing as that may sound. And then it erupts into violence, shootings and murders sometimes.

    Yesterday, as I walked up Georgia Avenue from the subway as schools were letting out, several of the young men I passed walked as if their hand was on a gun in their low slung jeans. I say hello to young women, too, and hope I don’t think I’m hitting on them or that I’m some cranky, wierd, retired cop.

    I always make eye contact and say hello. Sometimes I ask them things like, “Oh, are you at Roosevelt?” Sometimes it throws them off. Sometimes they pause and we have a brief conversation.”

    Alas, so we have access to guns, live in a very different world from us where their families are very challenged, they may have no emotional support whatsoever. Conversely, they may also have emotional support, but, like many young men and women of all classes and races are alienated from everything and can’t relate to perhaps their good Moms and Dads and teachers struggling to reach them.

    In the end, it is a toxic mix and there are no easy solutions.

    The cops cannot be in every alley, in every block. We do not live in North Korea or in Joe Stalin’s USSR or General Pinochet’s Chile. We do not have secret police forces who move in to the “bad house” in a flash and make people disappear.

    The young people doing this live here in the District of Columbia. They are not landing from Planet Mars. They are angry former roadies with Jay-Z.

    A few years back in my days in the Mayor’s Office, then City Administrator Dan Tangherlini said in a meeting with a bunch of my colleagues- including lots of cops from the city government — something to the effect:

    “We have identified 75 families responsible for most of the crime in this city. We are working on getting into the heads of everyone in those families, encouraging them to address job needs. get psychological counseling, address domestic violence, be better parents, go to parent-teacher meetings…and so on.”

    There is this thing called the U.S. Constitution and laws and regulations. We can’t love democracy in our hearts but want the government to be a Chilean police state in dealing with the “bad” people in the house two blocks away or three miles away.

    If you have the time to read and are interested in this, I stumbled across two books written by a guy named Eboni Wilson. One on my desk at home right now is called, “Reflections of a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.” I think his self-published books are available on Aamzon and Barnes and Noble. (Does Amazon give to right-wing, anti-marriage equality causes? Can anyone tell me? I had heard that from friends in Seattle a while ago.)

    Eboni Wilson lived the bad life, spent time in prison, is out trying to do good work in Chicago. He describes in vivid detail his upbringing which makes any dysfunction in most families look like a Disney fair tale. Some of his language may be off-putting to some. Once you get past that, his story is quite sobering.

    Of course, keep calling 9-1-1 and tell MPD everything you know if you expect us to proceed — which we will. Tell them EVERYTHING.

    The toxic violent culture in our midst succeeds best where silence is enforced and people feel intimidated. The No-Snitchin’ thing. That’s called intimidation and extortion.

    It’s a Black Crew or Latino Gang version of the Mafia enforcement that existed in Boston, Rhode Island, New York, New Jesery, Philadelphia, Chinese gangs on the West Coast, KKK intimidation in the South, Aryan Nation intimidation in Idaho, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Russian gangster intimidation in London, the silence that’s been bought and imposed in Sicily and Napoli or Kabul or Pakistan. Comes in all shapes and colors all over the planet. The world of Keep Fear Alive.


    If you’re white and it’s you’re first time living in a black neighborhood, relax.

    I heard of one new neighbor who moved to NH and Allison and “was terrified.” I advised her mutual friend to tell this person to talk to some of the old folks inevitably on her block. Bring over cookies and have coffee. Or go to 4419 3rd Street NW and talk to Minnie Green, uh-huh. Call Minnie right now and don’t give her your fake internet name, tell her where you live. 202-829-3735.

    We love transparency in government but not on the internet.

    Get to know the seniors and long time residents. Roll up your sleeves and volunteer sometime at Roosevelt or help neighborhood churches with alley cleanings and ask the pastors and congregants to get more involved right now if they’re not.

    Time for me to go back to other task…

    Old Enough to Be Cranky – Still A Boston Wise Ass In My Heart
    202-309-1817 personal cell

  • Meant they are NOT angry, former roadies with Jay-Z. My copy editor must be a Domku watching Kera Carpenter stare at a glass of water and see it turning to a block of ice in ten seconds flat.

    I don’t have time for other copy editing. if there are other errors, email me privately with your real name and phone number and put on your high-school-English professor high hat.

  • Does anybody know what happened last night (around 8 or 9) around 14th and Euclid? There were a bunch of police cars and a few fire engines for about a half an hour or so.

    I couldn’t figure it out, but they blocked Euclid through 15th during that time.

    Traffic incident? Or something else?

  • What’s really upsetting is that as far as I can tell this incident got no mention in the WaPo or on any local news network. I guess it doesn’t really matter until a bystander catches a bullet in the head. Then we get the truck with the spotlight parked on the corner.

    • This happened half a block from my house and I wasn’t even aware until I got home at 10PM last night and saw the spotlight. I’ve basically gotten into the habit of checking PoP before I check the WaPo because I know WaPo never prints this stuff (well, at least not in a timely manner).

  • What is needed is a vigiliance on the part of the entire community to call in “unacceptable” behaviors. Changing the minor “unacceptable” behaviors sends a signal that people are watching, care, and are willing to take action before the shootings occur.

  • I was unable to attend th meeting yesterday and would really love to hear the main points about the situation details & any plans or next steps. Please help!

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