“most people arrested are released a few hours later except for the guy that threw blood on a cop”

chinatown troubles

“Dear PoPville,

Thought you’d want to see this from last night’s Mount Vernon Triangle CID community meeting. People are at the end of the line with the Chinatown parks and the heroin and and crack market in open air 24/7, transvestite prostitution , and trash cesspool. Drugged crazed idiots accosting pregnant people, toddlers, people’s dogs etc . Police action from MPD and park police is being hindered by national park service “the benches can’t be moved because it would ruin the historic nature of Chinatown park” and the city council “most people arrested are released a few hours later except for the guy that threw blood on a cop”. One lady said she’s petrified of the day her dog eats a piece of crack and dies. 11 people arrested in less than 2 weeks . Three of them wanted felons, just hanging in Chinatown park. NPS and the council need to be held accountable. Police are doing everything they can.”

71 Comment

  • When you say ‘Chinatown Park’, are you referring to a specific park? or speaking in general terms about the parks in the area of Chinatown?

  • Our current council and mayor are threatening to make this city go backwards in terms of quality of life and safety (it’s already happened, but it could keep getting worse). We used to have a council that was bad, but was interested in restoring law & order and moving the city forward in terms of city services and thinking big. Now we have a mix of neo-liberals that are so liberal that they can’t imagine anything short of paying people to not commit crimes, or throwing money at the problem in other ways (not to mention blaming prisons as the problem not the solution- this includes Grosso, Silverman, Nadeau, Todd, and McDuffie). The rest are either there to collect a paycheck or just don’t care about crime at all. It’s bad when Mendelson, once one of the worst in terms of confronting the city’s crime problems from his upper Wisconsin Ave condo, has become one of the more “hawkish” on crime.

    Note to the council and the mayor. You can still be super liberal and want to hold VIOLENT criminals accountable. You can try to figure out ways for the city to supplement the limited federal funding for additional prosecutors, and lobby the federal government to appoint judges who care about prosecuting criminals (yes, this part is hard but needs to happen). You can change laws regarding violent youth criminals, so they aren’t just back on the street committing crimes with impunity if under the age of 18 (and let’s face it, often over).

    Oh, and please bring back vice squads. Not for petty crimes like smoking dope on the street, but for actual drug dealing (which consistently leads to shootings and turf wars) and greater crimes.

    • This is an excellent comment.

    • plus 1000! This is literally the current state of policy in this city. Every major developer in the area are willing to commit millions of dollars to a variety of solutions from services to enhanced support from Police. Its the NPS (Robin Nixon was the inept one they sent to the meeting last night) AND the city council (except for Charles Allen) that are keeping this from happening. The city council is not interested in immediate solutions, they are interested only in Job tenure. The safety of the entire neighborhood should not be superseded by council politics or Federal Government oversight indifference/ineptitude. No wonder Cathy Lanier left us to figure it out on our own….

    • Sam all over, wash, rinse, repeat. I was thinking about all that yesterday as I exited the Eastern Market station at 6 pm and there was a large group of schoolkids, some looked no more than 10-12 years old, at the bus stop right on Penn. Ave in broad daylight at rush hour passing around an enormous joint and filling up the entire plaza with the rank stench. We can debate drug policy and policing strategy all day long, but when you have people openly (and yes, illegally) doing drugs all over town with impunity, that’s a social problem that is extremely difficult to address. Throw in our completely dysfunctional city govt and MPD and it’s impossible to fix.

      • I agree with most, but will still smoke cannabis in public (avoiding around children). Don’t get me started about nasty tobacco smoke, cannabis is much more pleasant…

        • Why be a jerk like that? It’s illegal to smoke cannabis in public; smoke it at home. Just because you think cannabis smoke is more pleasant than tobacco smoke doesn’t give you the right to break the law AND annoy other people.

        • Obviously that is a subjective comment, but as someone who doesn’t really care about whether smoking pot is legal in public, I’ll still say it’s a wretched smell. I’ll take cigarette smoke over that any day, but prefer to not deal with either.

          Unfortunately now you just basically get cited for smoking weed in public and so everyone does it because it’s the equivalent of a parking ticket.

          • No, consuming MJ in public is still criminal, but the “ticket,” aka field arrest citation aka 61D, can be issued instead of immediately taking you into custody. But if you don’t show up at a station in 15 days to process the arrest, an arrest warrant will be issued.

            The problem for enforcement is that police have to witness the consumption. The smell of marijuana or witness statements is not sufficient to search or arrest someone. That also has an impact on arrests for distribution.

    • I agree with everything here except the sad truth is we elected these people. It’s up to us to throw them out and elect people who will do the job.

    • Throw them out at the next election!

    • I’ve personally made Brianne Nadeau aware of the horrific consequences of repeat violent drug-related crime on my corner in Columbia Heights, and have yet to get the impression that she cares one bit about meaningful criminal justice reform.

      We desperately need Ward-specific vice squads back now. Longer term, we need Council with a more balanced makeup in terms of ideology. “BLM” is not an effective as the sum and total of an urban policing strategy.

    • I’ll go with this… yeah, what SG said..

    • I 100% agree with you SG. I’m struggling though with what to do to get the City Council to do something. It seems like they need a critical mass of emails to actually get them to do the common sense things you suggest. Would anyone be willing to create an email campaign? I wish it was as easy as saying let’s vote out the incumbents, but the candidates that ever have any chance at winning these elections always seems to be cut from the same soft-on-crime cloth.

  • Im tempted to share many of these concerns but I find it difficult to for fear of being confused with the shrill hyperbole always in these posts.

  • The opening of the women’s shelter on 5th street has significantly contributed to the issue. Since it’s been reopened after renovation there have been huge numbers of people loitering in the area. I assume it is hard to get a bed there and they need to make sure they are there when it opens. If that is the case, the shelter needs to figure out a better way to give out spots. They also need to get security to patrol around the area because there are plenty of men waiting for the women staying in the shelter every morning and again in the evening.

    What also concerns me are the packs of young men that ride around the neighborhood causing mischief. I was walking my dog the other day and felt incredibly threatened by them as they rode past!

  • Transvestite prostitution just really crosses the line for me.

  • This park has to be one of the worst in DC. Full of zombies day and night

  • I’m struggling to see how the fact that the prostitutes are trans* is relevant to the problem, unless the submitter means to draw awareness to the fact that trans* prostitutes are more likely to be the victim of violent crimes.

    • +1
      .
      Lets not try to confuse things that are actually dangerous with things that make some people uncomfortable.
      .
      That being said, I’m glad to see some discussion happening on the issues of these parks. I walk through this block quite frequently and am always distressed at the drug issues taking place in this area. I’m hoping with the completion of the new (office?) building across from the park, more pressure will be put on the city to do something. If anything, hoping more foot traffic and business will simply bring in a larger police presence.

    • Yea – what an awkward comment. The OP seems to include transvestite pro’s as an example of deplorable behavior. If OP is so hard-set against sex work, I guess that’s fine, but no need to isolate transvestites – that’s not helping your cause.

    • maybe OP was using a qualifier without any prejudice ? That can happen too. “This yellow car almost hit me” does not mean you hate Asians

      • It did seem to me like an odd detail for the OP to have mentioned.
        .
        I wasn’t thinking of what stacksp pointed out, i.e., the possibility of increased violence from johns as a result of their not realizing that a trans individual was trans. Perhaps that’s what the OP had in mind, but to me it came across as the OP finding trans prostitutes/prostitutions by trans individuals particularly repulsive.

      • While I get what you’re saying, your analogy is off since no one has underlying prejudices against the color yellow or cars. Perhaps what you meant was if some said “an Asian driver almost hit me.” ?However, adding a qualifier for no obvious reason is usually a sign of an underlying prejudice, whether you meant it or not….and is something we are all (yes, even those of us railing against OP’s language) are guilty off.

        • Mayhaps
          I am not refuting the fact that OP’s description was oddly specific but i wonder where we stop.
          Prostitutes has a underlying prejudice I would presume so let’s not use it if i exaggerate your point. MPD routinely uses “black” or “white” as a qualifier when describing crimes committed by said demographics, is that ok ?

          • Prostitution is the crime, so that’s an essential part of the story. The prostitute’s sexuality or gender identity is not.

    • +1 to “I’m struggling to see how the fact that the prostitutes are trans* is relevant to the problem”.

    • Agreed – I have no idea why OP felt the need to include “transvestite” as if to try and make the problem sound worse because *OMG* there might be trans people there too!

  • How do we find out when the CID meetings are? I am on a Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association email list and saw nothing about it. I have concerns about the park and drug use, too, and crime nearby, and would have attended if I’d known about it.

  • That park has gone from not a problem at all to a big problem in what seems like a very short time – maybe a little more than a year? Others have pointed to the women’s shelter at 5th and H, which may be part of it. But I hypothesize that it also has to do with the fact that the Capitol Crossing construction team has taken over the park that sits on top of the 395 overpass (it is between Massachusetts and H just east of 3rd Street). That used to always be full of people hanging out, and there were also complaints about it being an open-air drug market — but it is no longer accessible to the public.

  • transvestite

    Avoid this outdated term.

    From: http://www.nlgja.org/stylebook/?s=trans

  • justinbc

    What am I supposed to be seeing exactly in this photo?

    • The pic is of the meeting last night for the MVT CID, with Park Police, MPD, NPS (sent a minion in charge of partnerships), US Attorney’s office (left early), Charles Allen (sent legislative woman) . Let’s stay on task from correcting posters, this is about community safety, real, long term safety. 90 percent of this city council is more concerned with protecting their agenda than making the east side of DC truly livable from a public safety perspective. It’s time to email them all, call, and eventually get the do nothings out of office (permanently). When city council cant even keep the criminals out of their own peer group, how are we supposed to trust they can keep them out of our parks and streets. One last time, open air drug markets are all over the city, bring back Vice Squads once and for all to eradicate this problem. Washington DC cannot let the national discourse and local ineptitude threaten the very city and neighborhoods we all love so much.

      • I don’t think Justin is correcting anyone with that particular comment — just pointing out that the photo itself is not particularly illuminating. I don’t recognize any of the people at the front of the room, and there’s no caption to identify who they are.

  • This site has great information, but I find myself disgusted by the social issues commentariat here. I’m quite sure I wouldn’t find a Trump supporter among the lot of you, yet so many of you sound just like him.

    Examine yourselves.

    • This is a pretty judgmental stance. Some people disagree or have a different opinion than you. It doesn’t make them “disgusting”
      Check yourself

      • It can indeed, and does often. There are plenty of disgusting opinions don’t be ridiculous.

        • That is your pov.
          Because opinions don’t fit your own convictions, that should not make them disgusting imho, disagreeable yes, nonsensical yes but disgusting, strong choice of words.

          I am just puzzled by anon’s assumption that his views are THE views, group think and stuff, you know

          • That’s the problem with social media– people only surround themselves with people of similar POVs so they don’t understand other POVs. It makes confirmation bias that much worse.

    • Interesting comment considering this is one of the more tame threads I’ve read on Popville.

    • justinbc

      Liberals don’t like crime anymore than conservatives do.

  • People, city is being run by people who aren’t doing anything about your safety. Stop name calling and start demanding action!

  • I think DC residents need to start a coalition to fight this and fight against council members who make no effort to fight this intense problem.

  • FYI: The only persons released within hours of arrest are those charged with misdemeanors. If someone is charged with a felony, has a warrant or other pending case, is considered a flight risk, or if the police believe that they are a threat, they are not released on citation and go before a judge the following day for arraignment and a bond determination. The police are not authorized by statute to release persons on citation that they have reason to believe may cause injury to themselves, others, or property or persons they have reason to believe will not appear in court. Those not released within hours on citation are taken to court and either held or released by a judge based on certain criteria that has been developed to comply with the Constitution and the presumption of innocence. Those arraignments take place in Superior Court near Chinatown. The persons released within hours of arrest are released from the District station that corresponds to where they were arrested. The vast majority of those people are not a danger to the community and if the police really thought they were they wouldn’t be releasing them on citation. But if people near Chinatown really think they are and want the law changed to prevent those citation releases, they should know that every single person arrested in the city that gets released will be released right next to Chinatown instead of being released from the District station where they were arrested.

  • So what does one do when they see someone openly doing drugs in a public place? I was jogging at the Howard track in Shaw yesterday and there was a young male (maybe 16-18) drinking 40 oz beers, peeing in the baseball dugout, smoking pot and crack, all while leering at myself and fellow joggers. I didnt call the police because the guy seemed like a kid skipping school and maybe he is having a rough life at the time but at the same time I felt unsafe and disgusted that this was happpening right in front of me. Is there a non 911 number to call for these incidences?
    Much Thanks in advance!

    • 911 is the number for all police calls in D.C. (And it seems a little overgenerous to me that you don’t want to report him because “maybe he’s having a rough life,” but whatever.)
      .
      If you think this is a kid skipping school and want to focus on that count, each police district has a truancy-specific number you can call:
      .
      http://mpdc.dc.gov/truancy
      Truancy – District – Truancy Team – Station
      Truancy 1 – First – (202) 422-0743 – (202) 698-0555
      Truancy 2 – Second – (202) 437-5236 – (202) 715-7300
      Truancy 3 – Third – (202) 423-3756 – (202) 673-6815
      Truancy 4 – Fourth – (202) 270-1433 – (202) 715-7400
      Truancy 5 – Fifth – (202) 422-9459 – (202) 698-0150
      Truancy 6 – Sixth – (202) 409-2540 – (202) 698-0880
      Truancy 7 – Seventh – (202) 270-3772 – (202) 698-1500

  • Police are absolutely not “doing everything they can”. I go past that park regularly and I rarely if ever see police presence there. Who are the police assigned to walking the beats there? How many times do you see them?