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The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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PAUL closes in Western Market
By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

D.C. reaches highest homicide count since 2008

Hatchet File Photo
Fifty-nine hate crimes were reported in the Second District last year compared to six in 2013, according to the MPD data.

The District’s homicide rate this year has reached its highest point in more than a decade, DCist reported Tuesday.

The District has accumulated 170 homicides so far in 2020, while only seven have occurred in Ward 2, according to Metropolitan Police Department data. This year’s count as of Nov. 8 exceeds last year’s yearly total of 166, as the year-to-year increase in homicides has picked up more significantly in recent years than they have in more than a decade, DCist reported.

Homicides started to surge over the summer when the city passed 100 in July, a month during which the District logged nearly 30 homicides, according to MPD data.

MPD Chief Peter Newsham cited the release of “repeat violent gun offenders” as a cause for the increased number, the report states. DCist reported that the pandemic could also be a factor, creating greater economic uncertainty and disbanding the city’s violence interventions programs.

D.C. Council member Charles Allen, the chair of the Council’s public safety committee, said officials can combat the high rate of homicides if they contact the group of people responsible for them, who represent a small portion of the D.C. population, DCist reported.

“We know most violent crime is committed by a small percentage of vulnerable residents,” he said. “If we can reach these folks and offer them a way out, we will prevent more senseless gun violence.”

The rise has occurred simultaneously with renewed conversations about addressing police brutality in D.C. following the recent death of D.C. native Karon Hylton during a police chase last month. Amid protests this summer, D.C. lawmakers voted to transfer police funds to programs dealing with violence interruption and prevention.

With more than 80 unsolved homicide cases this year, MPD is offering rewards up to $25,000 for any information leading to the killers’ arrests, according to DCist.

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