Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Residents Express Concern About Public Safety at Emergency Meeting in Shaw


Shaw residents fired concerns at officials in an emergency meeting on Oct. 9 about the recent fatal shootings.

Convening at the Shaw Watha T. Daniel Library, locals were invited to join the Metropolitan Police Department and Advisory Neighborhood Commission officials to discuss the community's safety.

In late Sept., the Shaw neighborhood had just lost 19-year-old Tahlil Byrd due to a fatal shooting. A week later, two more people were wounded in separate attacks, with a recent attack on a teenage girl marking the second shooting that weekend. 

These incidents have residents questioning the downfall of the community and what can be done to stop these crimes.

Lamar Greene, assistant chief for the MPD, detailed the violent crime statistics of this year. 


ANC members looked on as Assistant Chief Greene explained the numbers in a violent crime chart.

According to Greene, the population has grown by 100,000 residents between 2010 and 2018 in Washington, D.C., with calls for service growing to 125,000 additional priority calls. MPD now is at the crime scene in five minutes and 20 seconds, compared to last year's six minutes and 40 second time.

"We are constantly looking at different crimes, the people committing those crimes and the types of offenses so that we are in the right areas," Greene said about MPD's efforts.

Overall violent crimes has gone down between 2010 and 2018 but the main problems are shootings and homicides, Greene said. 131 homicides have been committed compared to 102 last year, increasing the number of homicides by seven percent. Homicides with gun violence has increased to 102 incidents.

"Assaults with dangerous weapons happen because there is gunplay between different crews and crews are just folks that migrate to a certain geographical area," Greene said. "Crews start to have these violent confrontations and we're left to deal with the shootings."

Areas like 9th  St., S St., P St, U St. and 7th St. were mentioned when explaining the patterns of gun violence. 

Greene said robberies are also an issue in Shaw with a nine percent increase this year, alongside more thefts occurring in retail businesses.

In order to stop these issues of gun violence, Greene said there needs to be more serious penalties to change the behaviors of offenders. 

"Offenders are going to reoffend, unless we have effective punishments that take illegal firearms off the streets," Greene said when proposing a solution to end gun violence.

Stuart Emerman, commander for the MPD, said that all four incidents are under investigation and are making progress but need the help of witnesses and victims. 

Officers are being deployed in the 7th St. corridor as far north as Florida Ave., and as far south as O St, spreading a couple blocks each direction.

"Officers should not be standing in one corner or doing nothing, they should all be visible, random and repeated. That's what solves crime," Emerman said about the system officers are following.

Emerman said that 21 arrests for gun crimes in the third district were made but only one person was in jail and pending sentencing while the others are out on the streets.

Residents were shocked and requested for change to happen with stories of public urination, random shootings and harassment.

Ward 6 Council member Charles Allen spoke of the many resources created to help community members against the perpetrators that committed these crimes. 

According to Allen, the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement provide programs like the Pathways Cohort by pulling young men at risk of committing violence off the streets by giving them employment opportunities.

"We really have to do so much more on the front-end of these issues."  Allen said. "Violence comes out of a space of desperation and frustration, trauma and violence that the person has experienced themselves."

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Blackprint at American University