Citizens Mount Recall Effort Against DC Councilman Who Backed ‘Defund The Police’ Efforts Amid Historic Crime Spike

Screenshot/X/Charles Allen

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Arjun Singh Contributor
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A recall effort has been launched against Democratic Councilman Charles Allen of the District of Columbia over his support for left-wing criminal justice reforms, according to a report by Axios.

Allen has served as a member of the Council of the District of Columbia since 2015, representing Ward 6, which includes the neighborhoods of Capitol Hill and the Wharf as well as the United States Capitol Complex. An effort to recall Allen was launched owing to the Revised Criminal Code Act (RCCA) of 2022, a left-wing measure passed by the council that would have lowered penalties for many felony crimes, which was shepherded by him during his chairmanship of the council’s Judiciary Committee, Axios reported. (RELATED: Nation’s Capital Devastated By Astronomical Crime Spike In 2023)

“I don’t think Mr. Allen gets it,” said Jennifer Squires, a 55-year-old resident of Capitol Hill who is leading the recall effort, to Axios. She said that the RCCA was “going in the wrong direction.”

Allen had previously supported a $15 million cut to the budget of D.C.’s  Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in 2020, during a time of significant property crime owing to protests instigated by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The RCCA was later overturned by Congress, which is empowered by the U.S. Constitution to exercise exclusive jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, by large bipartisan majorities in both houses, with the repeal legislation being signed into law by President Joe Biden. His administration had previously issued a statement in opposition to the repeal, though signed it at the behest of Democratic leaders in Congress.

For a recall election to be certified, the organizers will have to obtain the signatures of 7,500 registered voters in Allan’s ward, constituting 10% of its voting population. This number includes foreign nationals residing in the ward, who are empowered to vote by the council beginning in 2024.

The District of Columbia Police Union, which opposed the RCCA, indicated to Axios that it may support the initiative. “We haven’t made a commitment,” said Gregg Pemberton, the union’s president. “[I]t’s certainly something our executive board will consider if the effort progresses.”

Crime in the District increased by 26% overall in 2023, with violent crime rising by 39%.

Allen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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