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About that Massive Police Presence in Columbia Heights Last Night

by Prince Of Petworth May 10, 2016 at 8:23 am 11 Comments


Around 6pm Monday night I got a ton emails and tweets along the lines of:

“The Officer reports an “active situation” and that we should feel “safe outside the perimeter.” Huge police presence in SWAT gear and helicopter circling above. This situation started before 6:00 PM. Stay safe, everyone!”

The situation was resolved around 8pm and Bill B in DC reported:

“Guy with gasoline and a knife. Mentally unstable, now resolved.”

  • LittleBluePenguin

    Ah! Thanks for the update, I had just gotten home and all the sudden about 20 different emergency vehicles – police, fire, ambulance, armoured SWAT trucks and more went screaming up GA Ave at top speed, I figured something realllly bad had happened/ was happening. Glad to hear it was resolved without major incident or harm to anyone.

  • Keefer

    Love how the DC Police Twitter works, I was at home working on my back, police cars flying up and down Georgia Ave and the helicopter circling, wonder what was going on and there was absolutely nothing on the DC Police Twitter about this just something about John Wall’s community activity…

    • Yeah, I was walking my dog near the barricades and I was wondering if it was safe with a police helicopter flying around. I assumed they were looking for a suspect, checked the MPD twitter feed, and it was silent.

    • ANC

      I don’t blame them for not giving details – they are probably trying to put out accurate information and not freak people out unnecessarily. There’s also the matter of not alerting people who may be involved in a crime about what the police are doing. They don’t owe us second-by-second updates, even though it might be nice for us.

      • Anony


      • Tony

        Seriously. Cops should focus on catching bad people rather than social media updates. They can tweet to you after-the-fact.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t think it would be ‘nice for us’. Most people wouldn’t see them anyway, and those who do would probably 1) as you say, freak out unnecessarily, and 2) complain anyway once they find out after the fact that the real-time info was inaccurate, incomplete, unclear, too clear, misleading, too alarmist, not alarmist enough, etc.

      • DRC

        2 weeks ago, there was a police situation very similar to this on my road in Alexandria (barricade situation, all over the news). I was awoken by a flash bang at 5am and looked outside to see my entire street lined with cop cars and SWAT vehicles. I’m never on twitter, but figured I’d check the Alexandria PD feed. They had multiple updates on twitter throughout the whole situation, letting people know there was police activity on Reed Ave and that it was closed to all traffic between certain streets, so everyone should avoid the area. They told people not to tweet police location or activity, but were able to effectively keep the public informed. They even responded to multiple (dumb) comments from people complaining that the situation would impact rush hour traffic.

        Remember, companies (and police) specifically hire social media managers that will post official statements on twitter/facebook/etc. It’s not like the SWAT guys are taking time out of their breaching maneuvers to tweet about what’s going on.

  • CoHi

    Which blocks of Columbia Heights were blockaded? I live on the west side of the neighborhood and didn’t see anything. Columbia Heights is a big neighborhood, so some more specifics would be great! (Thanks!)

    • west_egg

      Roughly: 3500 b/o 10th Street, and Monroe Street between 9th and 11th.

      • CoHi

        Thanks! No wonder I missed it completely.


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