God Help Us

previously released wanted poster, used after alleged Capitol Hill assault

Metro Transit Police tweet:

“Elijah Smith, on release pending sentencing for Apr24 felony assault on 69yo at E Mkt, REARRESTED overnight for punching MTPD officer”

The Washington Post reports about a new incident in the 700 block of 7th Street, NW:

“Smith cursed at the officers and then punched one of them in the face, causing him to fall to the ground, police said.”

48 Comment

  • Not to mention his previous conviction for violently robbing an actor in Montgomery County.

  • All I can say is wtf. This city makes no sense.

  • justinbc

    And yet DC is praised by some (looking at you Last Week Tonight) for being one of few cities to release those arrested before their hearing.

  • General Grant Circle

    Idiot. Although given the small amount of time between the occurrences (and that the victim was an officer) any prosecutor worth a nickel could get the book thrown at this guy.

  • God, what a piece of trash.

  • What a ridiculous title.

  • LOL, and the DC council won’t give Bowser the enhanced search powers she’s requested specifically for such people.

  • Here is what I said in April, when the first assault came to light.

    “This POS will be caught. If not for this crime, then for others he has committed or will commit. People like this are repeat offenders, and they need to be locked up.”

  • I’m sure he was just protesting gentrification.

  • Dude must be a huge pain in the ass. The Court record shows that today he was assigned and dismissed 3 court appointed attorneys.

    • Mental illness? This guy has some crazy anger issues. Dismissing three attorneys alone is insane.
      He’s not running with a full tank.

    • Not true–he was appointed an attorney this morning, who was dismissed this afternoon and replaced by another attorney. Only one attorney has been dismissed.

      His arraignment hearing was this afternoon, where he pled not guilty and asserted his right to trial. His detention and status hearings are scheduled for tomorrow.

  • Welcome to DC where we rationalize deviance/social dysfunction in the name of social justice.

    • The majority of teenage offenders are just “boys being boys” sometimes they are not (this guy certainly seems to be worse).
      The reality we currently live in is that white “boys being boys” are given a wide berth and society at large ignores their deviance/social dysfunction knowing they’ll grow out of it. Black/brown “boys being boys” are routinely jailed as men and then are supposed to grow out of it in prison?
      Some of my friends growing up were violent mentally ill white boys. I stopped being friends with a lot of them because of this, nearly all of them grew out of it, none that I know of ever did time.
      This guy certainly seems up there with the worst of them and seems to be begging for jailtime that he will get. That is not most of the people of color wronged by our criminal justice system.
      No social justice advocate is going to shed tears over this guy; the thousands of regular guys who end up thrown in the criminal justice system for their teenage indiscretions are not this guy.
      Why get all meta on an issue you clearly have barely any understanding of?

      • Wow, that’s genuinely unhinged! We’re in the middle of a crime wave, but “boys will be boys.” I can’t wait until the fulcrum of power finishes shifting in DC, which is going to happen in very short order, and then we’ll see what the community at large thinks about your rationalizations on behalf of violent criminals.

        • Is that what you guys are fantasizing? White supremacy is losing its relevance in the entire country thanks to demographic changes – it’s definitely not ever going to define this city like you want it to,

          • Yea, I’m not white. But good luck with getting anyone on board with your vision. The demographic changes in this city are certainly not moving in favor of apologists for violent criminals.

        • ^This. I know plenty of people who did some weird and, yes, criminal stuff as teens, but they weren’t out punching people in the face for looking at them wrong or robbing people at gunpoint. Things I can remember off the top of my head: taking their parents’ car when they had a permit, but not a license, and wrecking it (into a phone pole, not another car…if they hit someone else, the penalties would have, and should have been, stiffer); using a small amount of MJ; drinking underage; and a few minor incidents of petty shoplifting (not clearing the whole store out, stealing one or a couple or low-value things for a thrill). There may or may not have been some petty vandalism I was involved in (why is there a cow crossing sign where there are no cows, and we should TOTALLY steal that; we did this weird thing called “forking” where we’d stick a couple hundred plastic forks in a friend’s yard in the middle of the night…but we always helped clean it up once “caught;” and, yes, that meant we “broke curfew and were up to ‘no good,'” but it hardly rose to the level of criminal offense (slightly more clever version of TP’ing a house)).
          THAT is “kids being kids.” Armed robbery, beating people up for fun (the “knockout game”), swarming stores with dozens of friends to wipe it clean in a shoplifting “flash mob,” and stealing property for fun and profit (the daily bike thefts by even very young kids) DO NOT fall into the category of “kids being kids.” Given the right intervention, kids who do SOME of these things (shoplifting, petty theft, and petty vandalism…MAYBE minor violence) can “grow out of it.” BUT, they need SERIOUS intervention…not some platitudes and a “now you be a better person.” Counseling, supervision, demands on their behavior (you’ll get off if you maintain a 2.5 GPA, miss less than 10 days of school next year, and don’t get in any more trouble, for example). Teenagers who are punching people for no reason other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time or holding people up and gunpoint are not just “wayward children who need some help.”
          Also, said friend who took his parents’ car and wrecked it (hurting no one but himself)…he was sentenced to a year probation and prohibited from obtaining a driver’s license until he turned 18. That seemed totally fair, but is a harsher sentence than many kids who punch the lights out of a random passer-by suffer in DC. I have compassion, but I also don’t think that legitimate crimes should go with NO punishment. Expunge their record if they shape up, don’t just let them off up front.

          • phl2dc

            “Teenagers who are punching people for no reason other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time or holding people up and gunpoint are not just ‘wayward children who need some help.’ ”
            THANK YOU!!!!

      • “Why get all meta on an issue you clearly have barely any understanding of?”

        Lol…patronize much. My comment was slightly tongue and check. Of course there are issues with discrimination in our justice system. But, it seems the passion of many is to get all worked up on mass incarceration/police brutality and glaze over traditional crime. (Ex. Read Slate, Vox, the Root and you would be under the impression that police were responsible for the majority of killing in our society). Sort of how many conservatives will acknowledge racism is a perfunctory manor, but really only get passionate about addressing “cultural pathologies”

      • I feel like you’re trying to be an apologist for some group here but not quite sure which.

      • Sorry, boys being boys is not an excuse for violence. End of story. That line is used constantly with those who are victims of violence, including rape, constantly. If you do a violent crime, you end up in prison a long time. That should be the lesson, no excuses.

  • Criminal justice reform for NON-violent offenders… F!#@ this guy

  • Can someone disprove the statement that 100% of juveniles arrested in WDC are minorities?
    This person will not serve life in prison for this crime. Do you think he should? If not, do you think he will be less angry than he is now when he is released? Mass incarceration will nor make our country better or safer

    • He’s been arrested at least 6 times in the year since his 18th birthday and is guilty of at least 3 violent felonies. And I’m just sure his juvie record is spotless. That seems like a perfect candidate for a life sentence.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Well according to publicly-available Census data, over 80% of juveniles in DC are non-white.

      • justinbc

        He said juveniles arrested, not just juveniles in general. It’s pretty true that the description of basically every criminal posted to this site is the same, and I highly doubt that PoP is just selectively not posting crimes committed by some white / Asian / whatever guy.

        • If you need confirmation of this, take a look at the MPD’s twitter feed sometime.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Understood. My point is that given that more than 4/5 of juveniles in the whole city are minorities, it should not be a great surprise that most of the juveniles arrested are minorities. Taking it a step further, almost 100% of the juveniles in non-wealthy areas are minorities. I mean, if you exclude Ward 3, how many white juveniles are there in the rest of the whole city? Maybe 300?

          • “I mean, if you exclude Ward 3, how many white juveniles are there in the rest of the whole city? Maybe 300?”
            I think you’re dramatically underestimating the number of white families who have moved EOTP. Also, Ward 2.

          • justinbc

            And Ward 6 which includes Capitol Hill, Hill East, H Street, the Navy Yard, the Southwest Waterfront, NoMa, Sursum Corda, Shaw, and Mount Vernon Triangle.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Families with teenagers? (Serious question) I am aware of lots of childless white couples and families who have recently had young children moving east of the park, but I am not aware of many families with teenagers moving east of the park, nor families who had children 10+ years ago and didn’t leave. In any event, even if my 300 is a tad on the low side, the Census shows that fewer than 1/5 juveniles living in DC is white, and I think we can stipulate that they’re not exactly distributed randomly throughout the city.

          • justinbc

            That part may be true, almost all the kids I see out in Capitol Hill appear to be under the age of 10-12. Then again, if they’re over that age and white they’re probably 1) not outside but playing PS4 inside 2) riding around somewhere in their car

    • I’m not totally sold on a life sentence for assault (even though he committed a couple). I am sold on a long sentence that includes a lot of mental health evaluation and help, particularly if the statement above that he yelled out something about being disrespected in front of his god is true. If he’s 19, that’s an age where schizophrenia tends to present (late teens to early 20’s), and, if that is, indeed, his problem, he can probably be helped WITH the right help AND supervision to make sure he adheres to the right drug protocol AND checks to make sure that drug protocol keeps working. I’m talking out my rear as much as anyone here, but I’m also in full support of spending the money to help mentally ill people, well, overcome that mental illness, if possible. I fully recognize that for people like him, if that is, indeed, his issue, that means a lifetime of supervision and help, and I’m okay with that. I’d rather pay for him to be regularly checked by a doctor and a social worker than pay to let him rot in solitary. I have several friends who would probably be dead or in jail if not for good mental health care. The only reason they never interacted with the criminal justice system, or only interacted with it in minor ways, is because they had friends and family who cared and access to good insurance.
      If that’s NOT his problem, or it is and he refuses help after truly earnest attempts at help…then lock him up and throw away the key.

      • Agree with this a million times over. It’s definitely a case of mental illness and we need to start treating it as a public health/ public safety issue.

      • +1
        If he was a white kid from MoCo facing the issues you describe (which I also believe may be the case here), he would have never escalated to this level. Odds are very strong that someone would have intervened and he would have been institutionalized and on a medication regimen.
        I think a lot of what the Black Lives Matter is talking about – and whites are not quick to realize – is not only unequal treatment by the justice system, but also unequal access to mental health services due to the privatization of quality medical care intricately tied job-provided insurance. Young black men with burgeoning mental health issues don’t receive any screening or intervention until they do something serious enough to land themselves in prison. And when that happens, their lives are over. I can safely say such outcome would have never happened to me or my friends, had we displayed such tendencies. Someone would have intervened.

    • Dear lord. Atr sounds confused. Honestly, what it will probably take for my family to move out of DC – It’s not the current crime level or the shitty metro or the absurd bureaucracy – it’s all of the people who excuse criminal behavior. I’m not sure who that helps.

      • I live in DC, I will never excuse criminal behavior, and yes, I see these people as part of the problem as well. You do a violent crime, they should lock you up and throw away the key. End of story. I am so pissed that people excuse behavior like this. A violent criminal is a threat to us all, and mental health is not an excuse for such violence.

        • It’s eerily similar to the arguments gun-lovers raise to ANY reasonable gun control laws. “It’s all the mentally ill out there with guns, not RESPONSIBLE gun owners!!”
          There’s no doubt that mental illness, especially untreated mental illness is a huge problem in this country, but it’s also become a convenient scapegoat. It seems as if we’ve lowered the bar so that any antisocial behavior is considered mental illness. If you’ve committed multiple violent felonies before your 20th birthday, yes, you might be mentally ill. But you also might be a violent asshole, too. Regardless, mental illness is not a get out of jail free card. I’m all for treatment – but treatment WHILE serving an appropriate sentence.

    • The are not arrested because they are minorities, they are arrested because they committed a CRIME.

    • He needs to go away for a while. If he’s angry when he gets out and does something else, he needs to go away again for longer. . We need to come with alternatives for non-violent offenders so that there is plenty of room for this guy. It’s a pretty simple concept.

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