“I’m frustrated because this is only a few weeks after another mid-day shooting in the immediate vicinity”

by Prince Of Petworth April 12, 2016 at 4:15 pm 20 Comments

via google maps

A reader reports:

“I was working from home today when at 2pm, I heard 6 or 7 shots and looked out my office window to see someone run down the street towards me, jump into a car with 2 or 3 others, and speed away.

I called 911 and was able to give a description of the guy running, the car, and a plate number. 10 minutes later one cop car had driven by but none had stopped at the shooting site. I called again and while I was on the phone a few patrol cars showed up. They taped up the entire intersection, and when I walked down to tell these guys what I had told the dispatch person (not trusting that information would actually get through that quickly), they had identified several shell casings on the ground and said they were still looking for whoever might have been injured. The cop I spoke with was nice enough, but gave me zero confidence that even with a full plate and description of the car that these guys would be found. He suggested it was “probably a rental.”

I literally called seconds after the shooting occurred, gave a pretty decent description, and was able to tell the cops what direction the car drove in. I have no idea if other units were sent to look for the car, but it felt like finding the car wasn’t the priority. The cop I spoke with actually said “we’re still looking for the guy he may have shot.” Which, I don’t know, if he’s not at the scene, and only 10 minutes has passed, where could he be?? I’m frustrated because this is only a few weeks after another mid-day shooting in the immediate vicinity (7th and Jefferson) and while I suppose I understand that when there’s no one actually bleeding in the street the incident gets bumped down the priority list accordingly, it would be nice for them to show a little urgency.

I’ll be interested to see if they call me back or if anything comes of it, because I don’t know how on earth they expect to catch any of the people committing these absurd, random, idiotic shootings in the middle of the day when they can’t catch the guy for whom they get a description and a plate number.”

  • Anon

    This area from 7th-Georgia between Longfellow and Kennedy has seen numerous shootings in the last year or so. It is a known gang/drug area, yet there is very little police presence. I used to drive down 7th street, but I avoid it now altogether,

  • ParkViewneighbor

    Sorry about that, OP. You do realize nothing is going to change, don’t you ? Between the catch-and-release, MPD incompetence, and the lack of strength of the bowser-todd axis, this is not going to go anywhere

    • stacksp

      People generally just end up moving once they have had enough to be honest. This is why people fled to PG County and commute solely to DC for entertainment and jobs.

  • Brightwoodian

    I don’t know why the police don’t blanket that area and maintain a heavy visible presence. I live a few blocks north of Missouri and I see officers on bikes and Segways all the time. My guess is that police officers have zero interest in risking their lives when DC is unwilling to prosecute its criminals.

    • Anonymous

      MPD in Ward 4 is incompetent.

  • 18th Street


    When is Bowser up for re-election?

  • mfldc

    I agree that this is terrible — and writing to POPville is fine. But, you need to voice your frustration and concern to Brandon Todd and to the head of the 4th district police unit. And I mean get to them and stay after them. Todd’s people can be good when pushed. We need him to let the 4th district and Lanier know that there is citizen concern and frustration and we expect action and a response.

  • jonah

    This won’t help with the incident but if you call into 911 you can ask them to have an officer follow up with you afterwards. They may be limited to what they can share in open investigations but they will call or visit within a few days. You do need to specifically request to the 911 operator that you want the follow up.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t get the anger here. You gave the police the info you had (kudos to you for that!) and you are angry because it did not result in an immediate arrest? A 10-minute headstart from that location could put the perps in Maryland by the time the police showed up.
    Why not give the police a minute to do some looking before pronouncing the whole effort a failure?

    • ANON

      I think the problem is that the intersection is approximately 30 seconds from the 4th district police HQ and it took 10 minutes for any officers to show up.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe you don’t live in the area? The OP (I assume) is as frustrated as damn near everyone in the area. MPD has proven unable to get a handle on crime. The people around here are frustrated to no end. I don’t think Lanier, Todd or Bowser even understand how mad people are.

    • Thatguy

      Agreed. Depending on what the dispatcher communicated to officers in the field and when, and you throw in what else could have been going on at that time in the district…. ie. part 1 offenses, officers may have canvassed a few to several blocks out looking for these clowns. Radioed in nothing found and cleared the run.

  • JohnH

    While I have been critical of the police strategy around me (shooting spree lane on 8th St between RI and S), I will say – they sometimes are more competent than they come across.
    I had an attempted house break-in in the fall. The cops showed up – took statements from a neighbor who saw it /scared them off – and left before I arrived (within 15 minutes). I had to call the cops again for them to come tell me what they were doing and who I can talk to (they didn’t have my information). I basically determined they really didn’t care about this – it was only an attempt and nothing was stolen.
    A week later, I received an email from a detective stating they had ID’ed the man and a month later, I got a call from the DA’s office from the prosecutor in charge of the case because they had just charged the guy.
    While it’s certainly ok to ask questions, I wouldn’t go straight to negatively assuming they didn’t/don’t care.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Good point. About 6 weeks after I was robbed in my neighborhood in 2013 and had inferred that the police did not care, a detective notified me that they had arrested a group of teens fitting the general description and had me look through a photo array to see if I could ID those who robbed me. (I couldn’t – I’m pretty sure the ones arrested later were not the same ones who robbed me, but anyway, they tracked me down to have me look.)

    • Mya

      Thanks for sharing.

  • Philippe Lecheval

    Don’t blame the individual officers. Their ineffectiveness seems to be mostly due to poor management and a local government who would rather sweep these types of problems under the rug, as long as property values continue to increase. Once that starts trending the other way, we might finally see some meaningful action on violent crime.

  • stacksp

    MPD is severely understaffed. Everyone wants more of a police presence in their neighborhood and with the crime scattered around the city they don’t have the staff to secure dedicated resources to all the trouble spots. Not an excuse but the reality. MPD needs to come up with funds for a massive hiring initiative.

  • B

    I was working from home yesterday (down at Gallatin) and heard the shots, too, but was on a conference call and couldn’t call it in to 911. This has become such a common occurrence in our neighborhood that no one even bats an eye anymore– including me, to be honest. My husband and I will both be writing to Brandon Todd today, but I don’t have any confidence that doing so will make any kind of difference.
    I’m fine here for now, but once kids are in the picture, we’re going to be looking for a way out of this war zone if nothing has changed. It’s so unfortunate because I love our neighborhood and neighbors.

  • Mojotron

    There’s an assumption here that the person OP saw running was the shooter and not the intended target. It’s a reasonable one, but but not necessarily what happened. and without a victim or a witness who can identify specifically who fired the shots or who even held the gun the severity of the charges decreases, they can still be hit with carrying a pistol without a license (CPWL), unregistered firearm (UF), and possession of ammo (UA)- assuming they hadn’t tossed the gun and have any ammo on them. All of these are felonies but also extremely common.

    I understand that people get upset when they feel that police aren’t treating these incidents with the appropriate seriousness, but I really think everyone needs to realize what the actual rules are of the system that they have to work with. this really has nothing to do with Bowser or police staffing levels. Police have been patrolling the 7th and Kennedy area as it’s a known hotspot, but the guys who are firing off view this as a challenge and not a deterrent.


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