A Shit Ton of Crime Over the Weekend But not to be overlooked – MPD recovered 21 “illegal guns” over the weekend too

Photo by PoPville flickr user Jeff Krehely

From MPD:

“Since Friday night MPD has recovered 21 illegal guns across the city. 16 arrests made for illegal gun possession.”

Some details:

“At approximately 10 pm [Saturday], MPD officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the 2300 block of 18th Street, NW [Adams Morgan], as the driver was not wearing a seatbelt. It was determined that a loaded handgun was accessible to both the driver and passenger. They were both placed under arrest.”


“This evening at approximately 2225 hours officers heard the sound of gunshots in the area of the 1200 vlock of Simms Place, NE. The officers were deployed to the Trinidad area as part of Chief Lanier’s All Hands on Deck Initiative. The officers quickly alerted other officers as numerous individuals were observed fleeing the area. Members of the Fifth District’s Crime Suppression Team quickly identified an individual acting suspicious as he fled the area. Crime Suppression Team members, along with Fifth District Patrol officers, stopped the individual in the 1300 block of Childress Street, NE, following a foot chase. A loaded handgun was recovered and the individual was placed under arrest. He was charged with Carrying a Pistol Without a License. Officers canvassing the area of the 1200 block of Simms Place, NE, located and recovered two additional loaded handguns. Thankfully, no one was injuried as the result of the reckless act of firing a weapon in our community. The quick actions, keen observations and outstanding communication among the officers led to the recovery of three handguns and one arrest of an adult male. Outstanding work by all of the officers!!!”


“An adult male reported that, at about 11:46 P.M. on Sunday, August 30th, he was approached by two male subjects at 13th and Clifton Streets, NW. One of the subjects displayed a handgun and the pair demanded the complainant’s belongings. The complainant refused to comply and fled. He subsequently called 9-1-1 and gave a description of the two suspects. Upon hearing the description broadcast by the dispatcher, numerous 3D units began to canvass the area for the suspects.

Within minutes, two subjects matching the suspects’ descriptions were stopped by Focus Beat Officers D. Buerster and H. Sarin at 11th and U Streets, NW, and a BB Gun was recovered from one of them. The complainant and a witness to the offense were transported to the scene, and the suspects were positively identified as the perpetrators of the attempted robbery. The arrestees, both 15-year-old males from Washington, D.C., were placed under arrest and transported to the Juvenile Processing Center.”

and more detail from Deputy Chief Groomes:

“Good afternoon all ….sorry it took me a while to compile this information but I want to send further information on how the Patrol Districts combat violent crime such as robberies, felony assaults, shootings and also citizen complaints that are brought to the attention of the commander…this is in addition to the support that the Chief of Police has provided via specialized units and the patrol support teams…..

Each district has an established Crime Suppression Team composed of ten to sixteen uniformed officers that address specific issues that the commander focuses on …. Since June these units have been able to

Make 788 arrests

Recovered 79 GUNS

Executed 43 search warrants

Recovered 23 ATVS

Seized/Recovered hundreds of grams of Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin and PCP”

31 Comment

  • Sigh. Props to the cops for their work, but is this supposed to make us feel better after EIGHT shootings on Friday night alone? Again…Sigh.

  • “BB Gun was recovered from one of them. […] attempted robbery. The arrestees, both 15-year-old males from Washington, D.C., were placed under arrest and transported to the Juvenile Processing Center.””

    I’m a big lefty, but c’mon. Adult jail time, please. No bail while awaiting trial. A 15-year-old with a gun is an adult.

    • Throwing them in adult jail is the surest way to make sure they become career criminals/are left behind by society. Unless you just meant adult jail-like TIME in a juvenile facility, in which case, I agree with you.

      • If you’re out robbing people with a BB gun at 15, it’s already too late. These are the same kids that will be carrying real guns two or three years later.

        DC’s main crime problem is recidivism. Repeat offenders are the ones causing a majority of crime.

        Note the charge for the guy caught with an actual pistol, Carrying a pistol without a license….which is a misdemeanor, $1000 and up to a year of jail time….he’ll be back on the street in weeks.

        • It’s great that you think it’s too late, but the consensus among criminolgy and sociology experts is that it is, in fact, not too late. Provided the kids get put into an intensive juvenile-tailored program. Locking them up and throwing away the key is a waste of tax dollars.

          • but my family and i are safer during the time they are away, which is generally a good thing for me.

          • I’d love to see the data on what the future looks like for a 15 year old who is already robbing people with guns (BB guns count as a dangerous weapon). My gut feeling is that they are, 10-1, likely going on to a life of crime. It just gets worse from here. Of course, there may be exceptions, but I’d like to see the cold, hard data. I’m more concerned about protecting innocents than I am with giving juvenile offenders 3rd, 4th, 5th, … chances.

          • Marty: see my comment below. What we are arguing, then, is long term vs. short term progress. I’d rather see the city prioritize the former over the latter. How in danger are you and your family, really? What neighborhood do you live in? Are you out and about during the times when crimes are most often committed? Yes, a bystander was gunned down in broad daylight in a relatively nice part of town two weekends ago. Those stories, on the very rare occasions they happen, are shocking and horrible and tend to rile people up. But assuming you are a law-abiding citizen who doesn’t frequent crappy parts of the city during the middle of the night, you and your family are safe. Let’s try to make the city more productive in years to come.

            Anon: good questions, I will dig around in the Google bin for some info on that this afternoon. I disagree with your bleak forecast but numbers would help clarify things.

          • @ sheesh – This is the problem with your perspective. The average young offender in the District has numerous social services contacts with the government before he ever picks up that BB gun to commit robbery… His family may be monitored by CFSA, he may have a social worker, DCPS has likely identified him as in need of services under the IDEA, he may have had minor contacts with local beat cops, he may be receiving services from DYRS. In short, the average young offender has had ameliorative government intervention for years. Your perspective just advocates more of the same thing. And clearly that is not working
            The unfortunate reality is that these offenders come from harsh backgrounds and thus are more likely to adjust behavior only when presented with harsh consequences. And DC jail is a pretty serious deterrent. Anything less is just more of the same.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I’m with Marty. In lieu of responding to Sheesh, I’ll just say that I have been robbed at gunpoint twice with a total of 6 individuals involved between the two incidents, the oldest of whom was certainly no older than 16. I didn’t get murdered either time, but I’d prefer to be up close and personal with the business end of a gun less frequently in the next 10 years than I was in the last.

          • Anon–that is not the reality. Check any of the peer-reviewed material on the subject (start by Googling “Missouri youth detention model” and poke around for a while). DC jail sounds like a harsh deterrent when you aren’t a criminal, but when you are, it’s just a place that teaches you how to give on a non-criminal life and go right back to offending as soon as you get out. Of course, plenty of criminals are just going to be criminals whether you are “soft” or “hard” on them as juveniles. But it’s pretty clearly established that the best way to make things better in the long term is to keep juveniles out of adult jails.

            Haile–and locking those kids up will get rid of the problem? That’s pretty short sighted. There are always going to be bad kids who are ready to do things like rob people. Mitigating the societal problems that turn them that way is a slow process that is never going to produce perfect results, but you know what is going to be even less effective? Trying to lock up every single bad kid for as long as possible. That’s space in prisons and jails that should be used for locking up bad adults for as long as possible. That’s money spent cycling people in and out of the system without ever trying to stop them from entering it in the first place. Sorry you’ve been mugged, but your proposed solution isn’t the right one.

          • I understand that locking up people makes the rest of us feel safer. But to say that they should be locked up longer because they are 10-1 likely going onto a life of crime is horrible (anonymous 12:53). Locking people up can’t be a long term solution. I understand it is expensive and the current solutions have failed (anon @2:36), but society should clearly be throwing much more money at this problem to get this likelihood down.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I don’t plan to live for long enough to see DC’s best attempt at “addressing the underlying societal issues” lead to actual improvements in public safety. I hope it does someday, but until then, I’m ok with locking up people who walk around with guns and use them to rob other people.

      • And letting them go immediately is a sure way to send the message that there will be no consequences for their actions.

      • Um… No. Big boy crime, big boy jail. Leniency for these criminals is part of the problem. There are no real consequences.

        • Cool “tough on crime” slogan there, but research shows that doesn’t work.

          • It may or may not “work” in terms of transforming the violent offenders into productive, law-abiding citizens…but it certainly works in terms of keeping the streets safer while the offenders are in prison. I would argue that the latter is more important.

          • Well then I guess it comes down to long term vs. short term progress. I prefer the former, trying to make this area better in the decades to come, but I can certainly see arguments for the former. I think those arguments are pretty flimsy–how “dangerous” is DC for the law abiding public, really? It’s not like we’re living in Juarez or Mogadishu or something. But I can see the arguments.

          • You’re right, we’re definitely not Mogadishu-bad, but that’s hardly a reasonable bar to gauge safety/progress. We’ve had quite a few innocent bystanders killed as a direct result of lax sentencing/enforcement.

        • Agreed. So sick of slaps on the wrists. Enough of the coddling psychology.

          • You’re all missing the point. Putting a kid away in juvi for a long time, where it’s still prison but there is at least some hope of rehabilitation, is different than putting him away in adult prison. I think we all agree that letting kids get away with just a slap on the wrist isn’t going to help.

      • Then throw the parents in jail because SOMEONE needs to be held accountable.

        • That’s taking things a little far, but I am definitely all for some kind of penalty on parents whose juveniles are out committing violent crimes. Bad parenting, IMO, is the #1 cause of juvenile crime.

  • Good thing for the seat belt laws! Another loaded gun off the streets.

  • I’m a civil libertarian and have no doubt there is profiling going on here (guys get pulled over for seat belt, find a gun. Suspect questions for “looking suspicious”, find a gun). That said, given the recent crime in DC, I’m getting behind this effort. It’s clear the police know who is committing the crimes and, here, taking guns from these offenders might have prevented a violent crime from occurring (at least for the week or two it will take them to get back on the streets and procure a new gun).

  • Glad to hear they are catching some of these people. That is good news for sure. A lot of the time the thugs just get away and don’t get caught. I think the jail sentences need to be much harsher. Same with the illegal possessions of guns – That should be a felony.

  • phl2dc

    “One of the subjects displayed a handgun and the pair demanded the complainant’s belongings. The complainant refused to comply and fled.”

  • A judge was convicted for accepting $1M in bribes from for-profit detention center owners, to send kids to jail. 4,000 of his convictions were overturned as a result. I don’t know how many of them were saved in time from their unjust sentences.
    You may think you’re all objective and intelligent about juvenile crime, and crime generally, but when you bleat about sending juvenile offenders to “big boy jail” you’re advocating for an absurdly corrupt and damaging piece of our “justice” system that is making a few people very rich, and making the rest of us much less safe. And you’re doing so through the most narrow lens imaginable: “how does it affect ME.”

    • Before you call out others’ objectivity and intelligence, you might want to at least get your facts straight. The infamous “cash-for-kids” case that you reference involved kids beings sent away to juvenile detention for minor–often, absurdly minor–misdemeanors, such as a student mocking an assistant principal on her MySpace page, or a kid riding a scooter that his parents gave him, not knowing that it had been stolen. The outrage stemmed, justifiably, from the fact that these juveniles were sent away to detention–often without legal representation–for extremely minor “crimes,” in return for cash bribes.

      What happened to those children was a tragedy, but has nothing to do with the issue of juvenile repeat violent offenders who rob and assault people at gunpoint, and who absolutely should be locked up, whether in a juvenile facility or an adult prison. And to call all juvenile detention centers “absurdly corrupt and damaging,” based on one notorious case, is ridiculous.

      • The concept of for-profit prisons is in itself absurd and corrupt. How can such an institution NOT lead to false imprisonment?

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