‘Out of control’: Washington crime rates soar as cops live in fear of backlash

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WASHINGTON – Washington DC, once infamous as the murder capital of the United States, is suffering a relapse as crime soars.

As at Thursday, according to Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) data, violent crimes were up 39 per cent over the same period last year, with homicides alone up 28 per cent this year to reach 190.

It is not uncommon to hear gunshots, as well as police and ambulance sirens, piercing the night.

Mornings reveal yellow police tape around roadside crime scenes, and roads lined with shattered glass from broken car windows.

Violent crime has spread across the city to the so-called “good” neighbourhoods, and residents increasingly refrain from going out at night and avoid certain streets.

Residents and business owners in the capital’s small Chinatown are alarmed, saying people arrested by the police are seen back committing street crime within days.

Mr Michael D. Shankle, chair of an Advisory Neighborhood Commission in Chinatown, said at a meeting in August that the neighbourhood had seen increasing violence over the past two years, with a lack of repercussions for those perpetrating crimes.

“We need solutions now,” he said. “It has been a slippery slope in which issues have not been addressed by our government leaders, and this has resulted in where we are today.”

Across the city, residents have been holding community meetings as concern grows.

At such meeting on Sept 6, called by a leading real estate agent and attended by The Straits Times, the police officer present was candid.

“It’s out of control,” he said.

Police live in fear of being accused of brutality and suspended, he explained – a fear heightened after the 2020 killing of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The 46-year-old Floyd died after a police officer kneeled on his neck during an arrest for trying to use a fake US$20 (S$27) bill. 

The incident triggered riots across several major cities, with police coming under increasing scrutiny. The officer was later convicted of manslaughter. 

EMEA Tribune is not involved in this news article, it is taken from our partners and or from the News Agencies. Copyright and Credit go to the News Agencies, email [email protected]

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