Republican South Carolina Rep. Russell Fry emphasized rising crime numbers during a Wednesday House Oversight and Government Accountability Committee hearing dedicated to the governance of Washington, D.C.
“Let’s talk about homicides in D.C.,” Fry told DC City Councilman Charles Allen. “They’re up 40% over last year. On March 6, the D.C. police chief, Robert Contee, was asked what D.C. can do differently to keep homicides down. He replied, ‘keep violent people in jail.’ Well, that sounds like a pretty good idea to me.”
Two hundred-three people were killed by homicide in the nation’s capital in 2022, the second-most since 2003, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. MPD is distributing free wheel locks to Kia and Hyundai car owners to prevent carjackings, while Congress blocked and President Joe Biden signed a resolution overturning a D.C. City Council law that would lessen sentences for carjackings, robberies, and homicides. (RELATED: Hours After Being Assaulted In DC, Dem Congresswoman Voted To Overturn Weakened DC Criminal Code)
DC wants to be a STATE, and they can’t even be a CITY!
Carjackings, shootings, homicides, robberies, auto thefts, arson.
Crime is running RAMPANT, and the DC City Council is blatantly denying it. They starved their police of morale and demonized them. You gotta watch this.👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/XB3zpyAn4P
— Congressman Russell Fry (@RepRussellFry) March 29, 2023
“According to Chief Contee, he said, ‘Right now the average homicide suspect has been arrested eleven times prior to committing a homicide.’ Do you think the men and women who serve the Metropolitan Police Department feel supported by D.C. Council to keep D.C. safe and to stay safe themselves?” Fry asked.
“I don’t support defunding the police, nor did the D.C. Council defund the police. Earlier you heard about the police misconduct. Over the last ten years, D.C. has had to pay out $91 million in police misconduct settlements. That is ten times the amount you were referring to that was redirected out to other public safety efforts from a half-a-billion dollar budget,” Allen responded.
Allen and D.C. City Council chairman Phil Mendelson testified to the committee alongside D.C. Police Union chairman Greggory Pemberton and city Chief Financial Officer Glen Lee. Both Allen and Mendolson voted in favor of the bill reducing criminal penalties. Biden initially indicated he would veto the resolution introduced by Republican Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde, but announced he would sign it after 32 House Democrats supported it.
“If D.C. were a state, it would have far and away the highest per capita murder rate of any other state,” Fry noted. “In 2014-2020, D.C. ranked the highest with a homicide rate of 19.84 per 100,000 people. D.C. wants to be a state; they can’t even be a city.”