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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

D.C. reaches 100th homicide of year at earliest date in two decades

File Photo by Arielle Bader
Metropolitan Police Department officials released data showing racial disparities among individuals stopped without a ticket.

D.C. has recorded more than 100 homicides so far this year, the earliest the District has passed the 100 mark in 20 years, according to Metropolitan Police Department data.

MPD records report 105 homicides so far this year as of Wednesday, three of which have occurred in Ward 2 — the area encompassing GW — while the department reported 88 on that date in 2022. The number of homicides recorded in the District so far this year has increased by 19 percent compared to this time last year and marks the earliest D.C. has reached 100 homicides in a year since 2003, putting the city on track to reach 200 homicides by the end of the year, according to MPD data.

Last year, D.C. passed the 100 mark on June 24 — roughly two weeks after this time last year — and had a total of 203 homicides across the whole year, according to MPD records. The average date that D.C. passed the 100 mark over the past 10 years has fallen on October 25th, according to a statement from the D.C. Police Union last week.

Two of the three recorded homicides in Ward 2 so far this year took place in January, one of which involved a shooting on the 800 Block of Rhode Island Avenue and the other a stabbing on the 2000 Block of P Street, according to MPD records. The third homicide in the area occurred in April and involved an “altercation” between two unhoused people two blocks from the White House, according to MPD reports.

Three homicides had occurred in Ward 2 at this time last year, staying consistent with the area’s trends so far this year, while the department recorded a total of 10 homicides in Ward 2 in 2022, MPD records show.

MPD data shows the number of recorded homicides dropped by 10 percent between 2021 and 2022, with 226 and 203 homicides recorded, respectively. Overall crime in Ward 2 decreased by at least two times more than any other ward in D.C. in 2022, according to MPD data.

Reports of homicides nationally are down by 12 percent compared to this time last year, according to Datalytics year-to-date murder comparison. Datalytics records show 66 of the 90 cities that have released data for 2023 show a decrease or no change in homicides over the past year, while D.C. is one of 24 cities that has recorded an increase in homicides so far this year.

The D.C. Police Union released their statement last week after an unknown suspect killed 29-year-old Joshua White in southeast D.C. last Wednesday, which marked the 100th homicide MPD has recorded so far this year. The union’s chair, Gregg Pemberton, said “misguided” police reform legislation and the 1,200 police officers who have left MPD as a result caused the increase in recorded homicides.

The reform legislation refers to D.C. Council’s Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act of 2022, which was passed in the wake of George Floyd’s death — a Black man who died after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes in May 2020 — to improve police accountability in D.C. The act, which was codified in April, prohibits the use of some neck restraints by police officers, implements enhanced procedures for body-worn cameras and opens access to police disciplinary records in an effort to increase transparency and prevent racial profiling.

President Joe Biden vetoed Congress’ disapproval of the council’s police reform bill late last month on the three-year anniversary of Floyd’s death, allowing D.C. to enact the legislation after majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate voted to overturn the bill.

Pemberton said the laws are “radical,” “anti-cop” and “pro-criminal” in the statement, which he believes led MPD officers to resign, leaving 3,200 total sworn officers in the force — the lowest number of officers in 50 years.

“Resignations are now outpacing retirements, and recruiting members are abysmal,” Pemberton said in the statement. “Without serious efforts to repeal this legislation, this situation will only continue to get worse.”

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About the Contributor
Fiona Bork, Assistant News Editor
Fiona Bork is a sophomore majoring in journalism and mass communication from San Diego, California. She is The Hatchet's 2023-2024 assistant news editor for the Student Life beat.
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