Washington, D.C., is on track to have its most violent year in a quarter century after its homicide toll surpassed 200 on Tuesday, The Washington Post reported.
Police in D.C. announced that the city has recorded 209 homicides since Jan. 1, bringing the city-wide death toll to above 200 before October for the first time since 1997, according to the Post. A teenage boy became the 200th death in the district after he was fatally shot by a group of teens he was speaking to outside of his high school on Tuesday afternoon, NBC4 Washington reported. (RELATED: DC Council Chairman: ‘You Can Get Away With Murder In This City’)
“Southeast Ward 8 and Ward 7 is out of control and the mayor should be ashamed of herself,” Paul Trantham, the commissioner for one of Ward Eight’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, told ABC7 News. “She shouldn’t be able to sleep at night with the stuff going on in our city.”
— DC Office of Neighborhood Safety & Engagement (@ONSEDC_) September 25, 2023
Residents have called the city a “war zone” because of the amount of violence and some businesses have begun locking up most of their products because of rampant theft. D.C. council members passed an emergency bill in July to aid crime fighting in the city, and introduced four additional bills in September to continue the additional funding after the initial bill expires in October.
The city has lost at least 1,100 officers since 2020 and has continued to have difficulty replacing officers. The Metropolitan Police Department (MPDC) recruited only 114 officers despite losing 298 employees in fiscal year 2023, data from the police department showed.
D.C. has faced major policing issues after the city council passed an anti-cop bill in 2022 that reduced police powers. Congress passed a measure to overturn the bill in May, but Biden vetoed the move after calling the D.C. law “commonsense,” according to a press release from the White House.
“[T]his resolution from congressional Republicans would overturn commonsense police reforms,” Biden wrote in the press release. “The Congress should respect the District of Columbia’s right to pass measures that improve public safety and public trust.”
Homicides in D.C. are up 24% from 2022, while overall violent crime has increased by 37%, data from the MPDC showed. Victims this year included at least 28 teenagers, a 10-year-old girl and a 71-year-old man, according to the Post.
The MPDC and the D.C. mayor’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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