D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine last night pushed back against comments made by outgoing D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier, who recently called the city’s criminal justice system “beyond broken.”
Speaking during a meeting of Dupont Circle’s advisory neighborhood commission, Racine challenged Lanier’s assessment that failures at local and federal agencies allowed the same criminals to commit violent crimes over and over again.
“I completely disagree with Chief Lanier’s characterization that the criminal justice system is broken beyond repair,” he said.
Though Racine acknowledged that the District doesn’t have authority over many agencies that play a role in catching criminals — like the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, which supervises people on probation and parole — he questioned whether that lack of authority actually imperiled criminal justice in D.C.
“The reality is that those agencies actually do a pretty good job,” Racine said.
The attorney general pointed to the District’s low rate of recidivism, or someone becoming a repeat offender, as proof of those agencies’ effectiveness.
“Do you know how many people on a given day in the District of Columbia are on probation or parole? 11,000, 1 in 64,” Racine said. “Do you know what the rate of recidivism is during the time of supervision by CSOSA? One percent.”
Racine continued: “So when people say the system is broken beyond repair, they kind of don’t tell you what the agencies do.”
And although the attorney general said he shared many of Lanier’s “frustrations” over repeat offenders, he also questioned whether the criminal justice system was at fault.
“Whose responsibility is it when you’ve got an individual who was on probation or parole, did their time on probation or parole without being rearrested, and sometime thereafter, [they] commit a crime?” Racine asked. “Is that the criminal justice system? It certainly can’t be the fault of CSOSA. I think there’s a lot of other players that need to come in.”
For instance, Racine said the District needed to do more in the way of rehabilitating criminals, not just catching them and locking them up.
“You need to have the District of Columbia … intensely provide the kind of case management, services, mental health, housing, drug abuse, job training, to allow these folks to have an opportunity to move in a direction that’s not merely criminal,” Racine said.
“Could it be improved? Damn right it can be improved, in so many ways,” he added. “It’s up to you and up to your elected attorney general to … try to improve it.”
D.C. Police are cracking down on the illegal dirt bike and ATV drivers that have been spotted tearing down 14th Street, U Street and Shaw, in addition to countless other parts of the city.
In a press conference held yesterday, Chief Cathy Lanier vowed to “pursue relentlessly these illegal ATVs and dirt bikes and move forward with their destruction.” Not by actual police pursuit, Lanier clarified, but by identification.
As part of its new operation to find and charge the drivers, the department yesterday released 245 photos of them in various states of fist pump and wheelie. We took a look through every single photo and noticed that flashy clothing, Macho Man goggles, biker helmets and skull masks seemed particularly popular.
From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.
DC Mayor Vincent Gray and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Cathy Lanier announced a new initiative Monday encouraging victims to disable stolen cellular phones. The process, known as “bricking,” allows the provider to block the stolen phone from being reactivated.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been working with law enforcement and major wireless providers to use “bricking” as a way to tackle the theft and black market resale of smartphones (FCC Announces Plan with Mexico to Address Cell Phone Theft).
Gray and Lanier introduced a new DC website, http://brickit.dc.gov, which includes information from the FCC on how to report a stolen cell phone and tips from MPD on preventing robberies and thefts.
Lanier reminded citizens to remain aware of their surroundings during the holidays and not become distracted by phones and other electronic devices. She pointed out that many robberies in the District involve the theft of cell phones. MPD also has a website with other winter holiday safety tips.
From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman, Julius Genachowski, and Mexican Communications Under-Secretary, Hector Olavarria Tapia, signed an agreement to help address the trafficking of stolen cell phones between the United States and Mexico. Genachowski announced the agreement November 13, according to a release. (See FCC Announces Plans to Reduce Smartphone Thefts, Protect Data.)
Mexican and U.S. authorities will increase efforts to prevent stolen phones from the United States from being re-activated in Mexico and vice-versa. The FCC and Mexico’s Secretariat of Communications and Transport will also work jointly to target international phone trafficking rings.
These efforts build on the FCC’s “PROTECTS Initiative,” which creates a database of stolen phone serial numbers to prevent the reactivation of these devices. (FCC Announces Plans to Reduce Smartphone Thefts, Protect Data). The Initiative also includes efforts to increase the use of passwords on smartphones and make consumers aware of services and applications such as the “Find my iPhone” app that can help locate and lock stolen products.
Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier made remarks at the announcement of the agreement. Lanier lauded the efforts of the FCC and was especially happy that the federal government worked quickly on this effort to protect consumers and reduce the number of robbery victims.
Smartphone theft has become an increasing problem in a number of major cities including DC, where Chief Lanier estimates 60 to 70 percent of robberies are cell-phone related. A video of the announcement and Lanier’s remarks are available.
CTIA-The Wireless Association announced on October 31 that all of the major cell phone providers had met the deadline of creating a database of stolen cell phone serial numbers. Currently, any phone reported stolen to AT&T, Cellcom, Nex-Tech Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile or Verizon Wireless cannot be reactivated on that network’s service.
AT&T and T-Mobile have taken steps to ensure that stolen AT&T phones cannot be activated on T-Mobile and vice versa. By November 30, 2013, the database will prevent stolen phones from being reactivated on any service. CTIA also has tips and information on preventing and reporting cell phone theft.
From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com
The Metropolitan Police Department’s Crime Mapping Application continues to be unavailable as the department transitions to a new records management system. The application, which allows the public (and crime bloggers!) to view crime data and statistics and the geographic location of serious crime incidents, has been offline since September 17.
Currently, visitors to the mapping site are unable to view any crime data and instead see the following message: “Due to a data transmission issue, the site has been temporarily disabled. We will make the content available as soon as the issue has been resolved.”
Chief Cathy Lanier addressed the issue on Thursday during WTOP’s monthly “Ask the Chief” show (beginning at about 17:43 in the audio file). She explained that the problem arose when MPD combined four different data and records systems into one.
After the data transfer took place on September 16, the Department realized that the Crime Mapping Application was producing skewed numbers. These issues have not yet been fully addressed, and Lanier noted that even the internal crime data she uses still contains at least 300 duplicate records.
MPD is working with the Office of the Chief Technology Officer to update the Crime Mapping Application, but Lanier said the system (along with updated crime incident files from the D.C. Data Catalog) would be unavailable for at least another month. Daily reports of crime incidents are still posted to the MPD Yahoo! Groups for the Second District (Dupont) and Third District (U Street and Logan).
Hopefully things will be up and running by early 2013 for the 2012 Borderstan crime year in review.
From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.
International non-profit organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) informed Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Cathy Lanier in a May 30 letter that an investigation by the organization had uncovered deficiencies in MPD’s investigation of sexual assault cases and police treatment of individuals reporting sexual assaults.
The letter, from Human Rights Watch Senior Counsel Sara Darehshori, summarizes recommendations from a forthcoming HRW report on these issues and asks for any comments from MPD. Lanier responded with a letter and attachments on June 8.
In Borderstan, reported sexual abuse cases (which include first and second degree sexual assaults of adults) are a fairly rare occurrence. There were 16 sexual abuse incidents in 2011 and 15 in 2010. Through the first three months of 2012, three sexual abuse incidents were reported.
The organization’s letter provided a summary of data collection efforts and recommendations for changes in MPD policy and practice. HRW’s analysis of documents from MPD and the Office of Victim Services and 128 interviews with victims and advocacy groups revealed what the letter describes as a “failure to investigate” many cases.
HRW based this conclusion on discrepancies between the number of sexual abuse incident reports and the number of forensic exams conducted under the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program at Washington Hospital Center since the program began in October 2008.
Their analyses suggest a much lower number of incident reports for sexual assault than would be expected based on hospital records. HRW also reports anecdotal evidence that Sexual Assault Unit detectives encourage officers to not write incident reports in instances where the veracity of the victim’s story is in doubt, when drugs and alcohol are involved, or when the victim is suspected of being a prostitute.
Based on interview data, HRW also accuses MPD detectives of frequently acting dismissively or harshly towards sexual assault victims. The letter, for example, describes examples of victim-blaming from detectives in interviews with victims. Based on these accusations, HRW provided a list of draft recommendations for MPD and plans to request that the U.S. Department of Justice investigate the handling of sexual assault cases by the department.
Chief Lanier’s response disputes many of the assertions in HRW’s letter. Lanier argues that differences in the number of hospital exams and incident reports are a result of HRW having incomplete data and failing to recognize that not all potential assaults require an incident report. Lanier also notes that the department has undergone a number of recent reform efforts related to sexual assault cases, including a new general order that went into effort in August 2011, and that the dataset HRW is using may not reflect these changes in the department.
In terms of HRW’s recommendations, Lanier agreed with many of them and noted plans to implement several in MPD soon. This includes making the treatment of victims part of the performance evaluation criteria for Sexual Assault Unit detectives, as well as creating standard operating procedures requiring that sexual assault cases are investigated by a detective, that sexual assault examination kits are picked up from the hospital regularly, that detectives provide victims with their contact information, and that victims are interviewed in comfortable and private areas.
Lanier also announced plans for department-wide training on sexual assault investigations in 2013 and additional training for Sexual Assault Unit detectives in the next few months. Lanier also sent a department-wide memo on June 8, reminding officers to report all cases of sexual assault.
Lanier also wrote a separate letter to U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas Perez requesting the Department of Justice’s assistance in evaluating the claims made by HRW. Currently, HRW has not released its full report to MPD and MPD is withholding certain data from HRW to protect victim confidentiality, so Lanier is asking the Department of Justice to provide an unbiased review of the allegations and available data.
It is not yet clear if Chief Lanier’s response will lead to a delay in the publication of the HRW report, which the organization was planning to release in mid-June.
From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.
Federal and local criminal justice leaders met at a public forum on Tuesday night to present plans for interagency efforts to address crime and increase public safety. The meeting at Shiloh Baptist Church at 1510 9th Street NW, was organized by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC), an independent D.C. agency designed to promote public safety through partnerships.
The meeting included presentations on interagency efforts in a number of areas including reducing the number of outstanding warrants, integrating substance abuse and mental health services, promoting alternatives to incarceration, improving the juvenile justice system, and ensuring citizens returning from jail and prison are able to reenter successfully.
MPD Chief Cathy Lanier discussed the 2012 Summer Crime Initiative, an effort by the Police Department to focus extra resources on five high-crime areas in order to reduce violent crime. Lanier noted that last year’s initiative successfully reduced homicides in the target areas by 71 percent, robberies and assaults with a deadly weapon by 20 percent, and overall violent crime by 20 percent. This year’s initiative kicks off Wednesday, May 2, and runs through the end of August.
Attendees included Lanier, U.S. Marshal Michael A. Hughes, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Chairman of the U.S. Parole Commission Issac Fulwood, and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Paul A. Quander, Jr.
The summer crime initiative will use focused prevention and targeted enforcement to address violent crime. Strategies include using intelligence and special units to target high-rate offenders and gang leaders, providing outreach activities to keep youth out of trouble, and using call-in meetings to put offenders under supervision on notice about the consequences for re-offending. These call-in meetings are designed to let parolees and probationers know that if they engage in criminal activity, they will face a swift and severe response from criminal justice agencies.
One of the five target areas for 2012 includes a small portion of Borderstan in Police Service Area 308. The North Capitol and O Street target area covers parts of three police districts (First, Third, and Fifth), and includes the eastern edge of Borderstan, from 7th Street NW to 9th Street NW and from N Street NW up to R Street NW. This target area is being overseen by Third District Captain Juanita Mitchell.
About 50 people attended the CCJC meeting. Interestingly, in a survey of attendees at the start of the meeting, about 40 percent of respondents said they were from Maryland with 20 percent living in Ward 1 and 2 percent in Ward 2. The meeting was taped by the Office of Cable Television and will be shown later on Channel 16.
From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.
If you live in this part of DC, you know how many cell phones/Smartphones are stolen. Apple’s iPhone and the Droid devices are major targets for robbers.
At a press conference on Tuesday morning at the Wilson Building, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski announced new plans to eliminate high rates of cell phone theft.
Genachowski was joined by Metropolitan Police Chief (MPD) Cathy Lanier, Mayor Vincent Gray, Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) and police leaders including New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Philadelphia Police Commissioner and former MPD Chief Charles Ramsey, and Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Taborn.
Smartphone theft has risen steadily across the last year. According to MPD figures, cell phones were taken in 54 percent more robberies in 2011 than in 2007. Cell phones are stolen in 38 percent of all robberies citywide.
Genachowski described three new initiatives designed to make stealing cell phones less profitable and to help ensure that consumer personal data is not compromised as a result of theft (see more from CTIA-The Wireless Association and the FCC).
A database will be created to help monitor stolen phones and tablets to ensure that these items are disabled and not reactivated. The database will make use of International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers, which are unique cell phone identifiers similar to Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) for cars. By October 31 of this year, each of the major wireless providers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile) will participate to design a database that blocks any stolen GSM (commonly known as 3G) smartphone from being activated on any U.S. GSM network. By November 30, 2013, the database will be expanded to include LTE (commonly known as 4G) smartphones.
Under the current system, customers can deactivate the SIM card for their smartphone, but this still allows the stolen phone to be resold on the black market with a new SIM card inserted. The new database will prevent stolen phones from being used at all. Senator Schumer also announced plans to introduce legislation that would make it a federal crime to tamper with or alter a phone’s IMEI number.
Password to Lock Device
In order to help personal data, customers will be notified upon activating a new smartphone about setting up a password to lock the device. This notification will be put into place by April 30, 2013. By the end of this year, information on setting a phone password will be included in instruction manuals.
Public Education Campaign
The FCC and wireless companies will work together on a public education campaign to encourage consumers to take measures to avoid theft and also to download applications that can be used to locate and/or wipe clean missing phones (e.g. the Find My iPhone app). The FCC began this effort with a tip sheet released today.
CTIA-The Wireless Association, the main industry group for wireless carriers, will announce progress on these initiatives quarterly and the FCC plans to meet with major city police chiefs quarterly to discuss the success of these programs.
Victory for Chief Lanier
Today’s announcement marked a victory for Chief Lanier, as DCist noted. On March 22, she appeared on NBC’s Today Show and had a harsh message for wireless providers reluctant to prevent stolen cell phones from being reused: “Shame on you. This is something that is fixable. Why wouldn’t you in the name of customer service and safety want to protect your customer? It’s not just about profit” (see Police Chief Lanier Takes Wireless Companies to Task for Policies from March 26). These new FCC initiatives will accomplish exactly what Chief Lanier was asking the wireless companies for.
Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Cathy Lanier has recently been touting D.C.’s 2011 homicide decline, pointing to a number of police initiatives that she believes are at least partially responsible. The number of homicides dropped from 132 in 2010 to 108 in 2011, the lowest number since 1963.
Over the past 20 years the number of homicides has dropped more than 75% after peaking at 479 in 1991. This homicide decline is not unique to D.C., but the magnitude of the drop is impressive, even compared to national numbers. From 1991 to 2010, homicides nationally decreased about 40%.
Lanier’s discussion of homicide clearance rates (i.e. the percentage of homicides solved by an arrest), while technically correct, is a bit misleading. An MPD press release refers to a 94% homicide clearance rate in 2011. As Homicide Watch points out, any homicide cleared by arrest last year is included in the clearance rate, even if the homicide occurred in 2010 or earlier.
While acceptable under FBI Uniform Crime Report stipulations for crime data reporting, this creates a distorted picture of how quickly MPD has actually been solving homicides. When examining just 2011 murders, about 57% were closed by arrest last year, suggesting that MPD hasn’t yet solved a substantial proportion of 2011 homicides.
What has MPD been doing that might be contributing to the decline in homicide (and violent crime more generally) across D.C. in 2011? Chief Lanier points to better collaboration with the community, enhanced information sharing, and greater use of technology.
Close collaboration with the community is essential for a police department to be successful in addressing crime. Chief Lanier has stressed the importance of officers building positive relationships with residents. Recent research suggests that when the police act fairly in interactions with the public, citizens are much more likely to view the police positively. When citizens have a more positive view of the police, they are more likely to cooperate with them and follow the law.
As Chief Lanier points out, information sharing in police departments isn’t always common. Cops on patrol, for example, may not have the opportunity to share all the information they know about their beat with investigative or gang units. Opening up channels for better information sharing can improve a department’s ability to solve cases more quickly and also prevent future crime.
The police point to improved technology as also important for their efforts to address crime, but some research indicates they should be cautious in relying too heavily on technology. In a recent Washington Times article, for example, Chief Lanier pointed to MPD’s investment in license plate readers as one technological advance that is contributing to crime declines. These readers scan license plates to identify stolen vehicles. The limited evaluation research conducted so far, however, suggests the devices do little to reduce crime. Still, technology can be an important tool in efforts to reach out to the community and to improve information sharing within the department.
Overall, the efforts of MPD and Chief Lanier to reduce violence and homicide in D.C. seem to be paying off. The police find themselves in a tough position because they take the bulk of the blame when crime increases, but they are often accused of taking too much credit when crime declines. In this instance, the police certainly deserve some of the credit for some of the reasons noted above.
Could this be the year that D.C. will tally fewer than 100 homicides? It seems very possible. Through January 25, the city has recorded only seven homicides, down from nine in the same time period in 2011.
New police district and police service area (PSA) boundaries are going into effect January 1 as part of a plan to “improve the delivery of police services in the District of Columbia” (see Chief Cathy Lanier’s presentation on the 2011 Police Boundary Realignment Plan).
As previously reported, the boundary shifts will bring significant changes for some parts of Borderstan (Police Districts and PSAs Changing in Borderstan Area; Police District Boundary Realignment to Affect Dupont Area).
New PSA Boundaries
PSA 301. Currently, the Borderstan area is largely located within PSAs 305 (U Street) and 307 (Logan) in the Third District, and PSA 208 (Dupont) in the Second District (a very small part of Borderstan is also in PSA 308 (Convention Center). Starting January 1, PSA 301 will also shift to the Borderstan area, incorporating chunks of PSAs 208, 305 and 307. (PSA 301 in its current form is in the northern part of the Third District in an area that is shifting to the Fourth District.) PSA 301 will run from Q Street NW up to Florida Avenue NW/W Street NW on the north, and from 14th Street NW to 18th Street NW.
PSA 305. PSA 305 will shrink significantly in size, and will now fall almost entirely within Borderstan’s boundaries, going from Georgia Avenue NW/7th Street NW to 14th Street NW and from S Street NW up to Florida Avenue NW/Barry Place NW. Currently PSA 305 also includes neighborhoods surrounding Howard University, which will now fall in a newly created PSA 306.
PSA 307. PSA 307, the Logan Circle PSA, loses territory west of 14th Street NW — some going to PSA 301 and some to PSA 208. However, under the new boundaries, all addresses on the west side of 14th Street in the current 208 will remain in 208.
PSA 208. The new PSA 208 will also be much smaller, as the new boundary plan eliminates “super PSAs” including the current 208 that tend to be the largest in each district. Part of this size reduction will come from the changes to PSA 301, which will cover territory that is currently largely in PSA 208. PSA 208 will, however, take over one area currently in the Third District as the boundary between PSA 208 and PSA 307 is moving from 15th Street to 14th Street.
Distribution of Workload for MPD
The boundary changes are designed to more equally divide the workload between the seven districts in the city. Because of population shifts and increases since the last major realignment took place in 2004, some districts in the city were handling a disproportionate share of crime incidents and calls for service. Some of these population increases were concentrated in the Borderstan area (see Census Frenzy: Ward 2 Population up 16%, Ward 1 up 4%).
The Third District, for example, currently handles 16.7% of crime incidents based on data presented by Chief Lanier in July, which is the greatest proportion in the city. Year to date crime data suggest this proportion may have even increased. The Third District is responsible for 18.5% of the city’s Part I incidents for 2011 (as of December 18).
Under the realignment plan, the Third District’s share would drop to 14.7%, which is closer to the 14.3% of crime incidents each district would handle if the workload was equally distributed among the seven districts.
Third District Commander Jacob Kishter expressed his excitement about the redistricting plan. “We look forward to providing improved police services to the community and building on our partnerships.”
ANC Commissioner Matt Raymond (ANC 2F-04), who represents an area in PSA 307, agreed that more evenly distributing the work of the MPD is important, but recommended that future realignment efforts better coincide with the political redistricting that occurs for other DC government boundaries (e.g. wards, ANCs) every 10 years as a result of the census, since both processes are based on changes in population. “This would provide greater continuity for public safety within neighborhoods and better coordination between police and elected officials.”
In the Second District, the significant decline in the size of PSA 208 will also, not surprisingly, decrease the proportion of crimes and calls handled in the PSA. The new boundaries will decrease the percentage of crime incidents in the Second District within PSA 208 from 37.01% to 22.21%.
While the shifts in district and PSA boundaries will more evenly distribute the police workload, Rob Halligan, who runs the Dupont Public Safety Committee, pointed out that the boundary changes “will require lots of work building new communications between MPD and the citizens.”
From Michelle Lancaster
Finally: Northeast Corner of 14th & U Getting Restaurant-Lounge-Club
Years after the U Street corridor began filling up with new businesses, the northeast corner of 14th and U St. NW has sat vacant, an unattractive spot in one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in the city. That will finally change. Sommer Mathis at TBD reports: “A sizable restaurant, lounge and nightclub combo from the same team behind Local 16. Melissa McCart reported word of a planned late January restaurant opening on Thursday, and Local 16 spokeswoman Stacey Price has since confirmed the date for us. The separate, bottom-level nightclub would follow in March.”
New Chef at Eatonville
DC Jobs Summit Dec. 19
Greater Greater Washington reports on Mayor-Elect Gray’s plans for jobs in the District. The first step will be a jobs summit on Dec. 19 to work through thorny issues of how and if job training can be effective in lowering unemployment rates.
MPD Chief Lanier Wants to Stay in Job
WTOP Radio reports that MPD Chief Cathy Lanier wants to stay on the job — and has told Mayor-elect Vince Gray so. She was appointed by Mayor Adrian Fenty.
DC: A City Divided
The American Observer has published A City Divided, which looks at a changing Washington, DC, and the tensions arising from those changes. One of the eight flashpoints is U Street: “U Street area sees collision between new and old. An influx of new residents has caused tensions in the historically black neighborhood.” The focus of this section is a gay bar, Nellie’s Sports Bar at 9th and U NW.
ZooLights Opens Tonight at National Zoo
DC Jewish Film Festival
The Washington Jewish Community Center at 16th and Q NW kicked off their annual Jewish film festival Thursday night. It runs through Dec. 12, and tickets can be purchased in advance. Some films are already sold out; get more info on their website.
Guide to DC Area Holiday Concerts
We Love DC has a guide to holiday concerts in the DC metro area. On the list is the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, who will present “Men in Tights: A Pink Nutcracker at the Lisner Auditorium,” on Dec. 17.
MPD Chief Cathy Lanier yesterday issued a statement regarding the around-the-world famous snowball fight at 14th and U Streets NW on Saturday. The fame occurred after the snowballers pelted a passing Hummer that was driven by an off-duty DC police detective–who angrily got out of his car to confront the crowd with his gun drawn; a uniformed officer than arrived with his gun drawn.
In her statement, Lanier called the detective’s behavior “totally inappropriate” and said that he has been placed on “non-contact status until all the facts are gathered and discipline is handed down.”
As Chief of Police, I wanted to respond to the many messages received to our police listserv groups last night in reference to the off-duty police officer’s actions on last Saturday. I have reviewed the video clips and heard from the public. It is very obvious to me that the officer pulled his service weapon in response to the snowballs hitting his vehicle. I have no doubt about this, nor has the officer denied the accusations.
Let me be very clear in stating that I believe the actions of the officer were totally inappropriate! In no way, should he have handled the situation in this manner. We have taken swift action by placing him on non-contact status until all the facts are gathered and discipline is handed down.
MPD Chief Cathy Lanier will address the monthly meeting of the DCCA tonight at 7:30 p.m. at 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW. The meeting is open to the public. Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans will also be there. Both will take questions from the audience. DCCA asks that questions be submitted beforehand to Robin Diener at [email protected].
Monday: DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier is the featured guest speaker at the December meeting of the Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA). There will also be an update from Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans. The meeting is open to the public; you do not have to be a DCCA member to attend.
Time is 7:30 p.m. on Monday, December 7. Location is the Society of the Cincinnati Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW.
DCCA asks that you send your questions for Lanier or Evans to DCCA President Robin Diener at [email protected].
From DCCA’s meeting notice: “Lanier describes her crime-fighting philosophy as proactive. ‘We can no longer wait for crime to come to us but need to look at the history and the trends and project from there.’ Some of Lanier’s tactics have drawn fire (i.e., curfews, search-and-seize methods, a controversial five days of checkpoints in the Trinidad neighborhood of DC after a series of shootings, etc). In her two and a half years as Chief, there has been a decrease in major crime incidents and in 2008 had the highest closure rate on homicide cases, the highest on department record.”
Right in the heart of Borderstan on U Street… around 1 p.m. on Saturday two men robbed a woman at 16th and U NW. In fact, the address on the crime report is 1612 U Street NW, which is the address for Results Gym and Bang Salon. The police caught two suspects shortly afterward. (Full details follow.) According to MPD, one of the two suspects is being held and a pre-trial hearing is tomorrow; no word yet from MPD or the prosecutor’s office on the second suspect.
But here is the kicker. The two suspects were driving a car that they supposedly carjacked earlier in the day in Prince George’s County. Still, the story gets better. One of the two suspects arrested for the 16th and U robbery was arrested earlier this month by the MPD in the 7th District for carjacking. The court had released him–yes, he was free–pending his trial for carjacking. (I have not yet been able to determine whether this particular suspect is being held or if he was released again; I will update as I get more information.)
It is bad enough that the two suspects felt free to commit a robbery at one of the busiest intersections in the area in broad daylight–across the street from MPD 3rd District headquarters at 1620 V Street NW. (The crime occurred in the 2nd District, however.)
But one of the suspects was free on bail after being arrested for carjacking. Call me naive, but I thought carjacking probably got you thrown in jail without bail.