Archive for the ‘Washington, D.C.’ Category

To any teenager, the allure of Facebook stems from a desire for incessant social media interaction. However, recently in Washington DC, the detrimental nature of Facebook was seen in a new light.

“A 19-year-old Southeast D.C. man who posted a photograph of himself on the Facebook page of his burglary victim was sentenced to 44 months in prison,” DC police reported on Wednesday afternoon.

Downloaded from Facebook by Marc Fisher. (Downloaded from facebook)

“D.C. Superior Court judge Anthony C. Epstein sentenced Rodney Knight Jr. after he pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree burglary in February.

Police identified Knight as the robbery suspect weeks after Washington Post writer Marc Fisher detailed the robbery of his home in an article.”

Apparently the key break in the case occurred when Knight confidently posted a photo of himself and cash that he had taken from Fisher’s house, on Fisher’s son’s Facebook page.

“Prosecutors said Knight stole about $400 in cash, along with the coat and two laptop computers.

Knight was arrested on Jan. 2 after police observed him in an alley in the 2800 block of Dunbar St. SE clutching his waistband and running. The pistol was loaded with one round in the chamber and one in the magazine, according to court documents.”

However, despite the result of his arrest, the nature of his arrest was a result of a misuse of Facebook. This should serve to prove once again to the youth of the world – more than just your friends are on Facebook.

(http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/crime-scene/post/dc-burglar-who-posted-picture-on-facebook-sentenced/2011/05/04/AFoY4soF_blog.html)

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Northeast Washington DC man, James Paylor, pleads guilty to killing a Southwest Washington DC man, Darrell Sheppard in November of 2007.

Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz sentenced Paylor, 20, to 14 years in prison after he plead guilty for the murder of Shappard, 24. The charge was voluntary manslaughter while being armed.

Sheppard was shot when walking home from a store in the 1500 block of First Street in Southwest DC. A video of the shooting was captured by police surveillance cameras. Based on the videos, prosecutors can draw the conclusion that the shooting was due to robbery carried out by Paylor.

Video evidence really seems to be the ultimate way to prove some one is guilty.

Jennifer Green is a 5 year veteran of the DC police department who was just ordered to resign from the force due to the fact that she pleaded guilty of 2nd degree burglary charges. She was arrested in March because the department’s internal affairs unit performed a sting operation. She now faces up to 5 years in prison. Green met up with an informant who was facing an impending assault case and told the informant of an apartment that had a large amount of cash and drugs (crack cocaine) stored in it. Green said that she had no use for the drugs but could use the money. On the night of the robbery, Green with the informant went to the apartment. Green used her police radio to monitor police activity. There was money that was planted in the apartment, and soap shavings to resemble the drugs. When Green and the informant left the apartment, Green ordered the informant to drive while she counted the money. The two arrived at Green’s apartment later that night where Green was arrested.

Tuesday afternoon–an officer shot and killed a young man (appeared to be 18) in Washington DC. Officers on patrol saw a young man who appeared to have a bulge on the side of his waistband. When they approached him to speak with him, the young man began to walk away rapidly and then began to sprint. The suspect ran through back alleys and was being pursued by police both on foot and in unmarked vehicles. The suspect finally begins to run away from the cops on main streets of the DC neighborhood and seemed to reach for something out of his pants that appeared to be a gun. Police yelled for him to drop the gun and then opened fire. Two shots rang out and the young man was dead on a residential DC street. A neighborhood witness says the young man seemed to have been holding his pants up and was not wielding a gun; however, when the body was searched a gun was found – a BB gun. The DC neighborhood is plagued with drugs like PCP and an influx of weaponry, so officers are constantly on the lookout for these items. Since 2007, police have confiscated 1,381 guns. Of those, 120 were BB guns or replica guns. This is one example of the 120 guns that were BB guns, and it resulted in a death.

Despite what appears to be decreasing crime rates across the country in 2010, Washington DC has been reported as having increasing crime rates in 2010 and into January of 2011. As reported in the Washington Examiner in December 2010, violent crime across DC, has spiked in comparison to years past.

As reported by Scott McCabe: “Violent crime in the District of Columbia increased by nearly 7 percent in the first half of 2010, while the rest of the country saw a decrease in violence, according to the FBI crime statistics released Monday.

“The FBI’s semiannual crime numbers show that reports of violent crime around the nation dropped 6.2 percent from January to June. That wasn’t the case in the nation’s capital, where 4,057 murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults were reported in the first half of the year, compared to 3,801 over the same period last year.”

FBI’s numbers
City Year Violent crime Murder Rape Robbery Agg. assault Prop crime
Washington 2009 3,801 66 88 1,990 1,657 13,610
2010 4,057 59 82 1,833 2,083 12,426
Alexandria 2009 127 2 9 51 65 1,616
2010 132 2 10 63 57 1,542
Baltimore 2009 4,606 114 71 1,742 2,679 13,967
2010 4,374 100 81 1,482 2,711 13,181
Source: FBI

Despite the increased reports relayed by the FBI, the “D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier dismissed the FBI report, saying it doesn’t reflect a true picture of the crime scene in the District.” Instead the department has reported on their own crime calculations that there has been a 7 percent decrease in violence.

“Although the FBI report uses crime numbers provided by D.C. police, the report ‘is not a good measure of District crime,’ Lanier told The Washington Examiner. District police go by the D.C. Code to determine the city’s crime rate and to make strategies for fighting crime.”

The two different systems of government classification could be the explanation for the different numbers recorded. “The FBI and D.C. Code classify certain crimes differently. Under the D.C. Code, a punch can be considered a simple assault and not a violent crime. Under the FBI’s definition, it’s considered an aggravated assault and a violent crime, D.C. police said.”

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/crime-punishment/2010/12/fbi-violent-crime-incidents-climb-dc#ixzz1JPmlq8oX

“Envisioning communities where youth make choices that strengthen their lives, their families and the world.”

This is the vision of the Choice Program – an AmeriCorps sponsored youth program that is based in Baltimore, MD. The mission of this program is to create an opportunity for at-risk youth to make positive choices by providing support to both the youth and their families. It is programs like these that make it possible for American youth, who are born into trying circumstances to have the opportunity for a future. (http://www.choiceprograms.net/)

Choice is one of the many programs nation wide that is centered on preventative work with youth in order to help solve problems before they are started. The idea is to help youth before they are put into circumstances that require their involvement in crime. In addition to Choice there are a number other programs that help youth both on the local and national level.

The Justice for DC Youth (JDCY) program is similar to that of the mission of Choice. This program focuses on the youth of DC and strives to educate instead of incarcerate. According to their website 1 in 3 of Black boys and 1 in 6 of Latino boys born in 2001 are at risk of imprisonment during their lifetime. In fact, youth of color comprise 38 percent of the youth population, yet they comprise nearly 70 percent of those who are confined. The focus of the JDCY is on education. They cite that student who are suspended from school are more than twice as likely to be incarcerated than students who have never been suspended” (www.jdcy.org).

The statistics of youth in the DC area are particularly troubling. In the DC area:

  • 85% of Latino and 91% of Black, non-Latino 4th graders cannot read at grade level.
  • 81% of Latino and 92% of Black, non-Latino 4th graders cannot do math at grade level.
  • High School graduation rate for African American youth is 45%.
  • College admissions rate for African American youth is 33%.
  • College graduation rate for African American youth is 9%

It is because of these statistics that the JDCY focuses especially hard on the education of youth in Washington, DC. More importantly, they hope to become a voice for troubled youth. The hope is to prevent problems before they arise. More importantly, the “JDCY advocates for a fair and more effective juvenile justice system in the District of Columbia. We are working to shift the city’s priorities from incarceration to education” (www.jdcy.org).

Similar to the work of the JDCY, there are also initiatives being taken on the national level. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention helps to take the reigns in youth crime prevention nation wide. They focus on “juveniles in crisis – form serious, violent, and chronic offenders to victims of abuse and neglect” (www.ojjdp.gov).

The OJJDP has been charged by Congress to meet the challenges that face the youth of the nation by providing professionals from diverse disciplines to improve juvenile justice policies and practices. As it is described on its website the “OJJDP, a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, accomplishes its mission by supporting states, local communities, and tribal jurisdictions in their efforts to develop and implement effective programs for juveniles. The Office strives to strengthen the juvenile justice system’s efforts to protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and provide services that address the needs of youth and their families” (www.ojjdp.gov).

Through its components, OJJDP sponsors research, program, and training initiatives; develops priorities and goals and sets policies to guide federal juvenile justice issues; disseminates information about juvenile justice issues; and awards funds to states to support local programming.

The next initiative taken by the OJJDP is an event taking place on October 12–14, 2011, where the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention will host its National Conference, “Children’s Justice & Safety: Unite, Build, Lead,” at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in National Harbor, MD. The topics include crimes against children, anti-gang strategies, children’s exposure to violence, disproportionate minority contact, girls’ delinquency, tribal youth programs, emergency planning for juvenile justice, faith-based and community involvement, mentoring, truancy and bullying, and substance abuse, among others (www.ojjdp.gov).

It is through leading the national level’s awareness to juvenile problems, that the OJJDP can hope to make a difference to the youth today. Together, Choice, JDCY, and the OJJDP can hope to root out a certain amount of crime from its foundational level – among the nation’s youth.

Cathy L. Lanier officially assumed the role of Chief of the Metropolitan police department on April 3, 2007 and since then has made it her personal agenda to remove illegal guns off of the streets of our nation’s capital. Despite a slight increase in 2008 (which could conceivably coincide with the economic market crash) the number of homicides in DC (which were already on the way down from the big murder rates of the early 1990’s which peaked at 479 in 1991) has significantly decreased from 181 in 2008 down to 131 in 2010.

Though the number of gun seizures has also decreased, this can be viewed in 1 of 2 ways: either the increased pressure provided by Lanier has decreased the number of guns that are available on the streets OR illegal gun holders have become more wary of Lanier’s system and have gotten better at deceiving police. The truth between these two statements will only come to fruition in years to come (though thus far this year there has been a slight increase from last year at the same time 18 homicides up from 16). Despite the increase one thing is fore sure – homicides are way way down in Washington, DC.

 

(Charts and information taken from dcist.com )