On Tuesday the 26th, Washington DC crossed the tragic figure of 200 homicides this year, a situation that raised to the maximum the concern among civil and police authorities who have undertaken measures to fight crime in the nation's capital.
That Tuesday, a student was shot to death near his Dunbar high school, in northwest DC, marking the city's 200th murder of the year.
The District's acting police chief, Pamela Smith, released to the press the identity of Maurice Jackson, 16, as the teenager who had been shot to death at 3:45 pm in the 1400 block of New Jersey Avenue , shortly after leaving class.
According to initial investigations, the teenager was near the intersection of New Jersey Avenue and P Street Northwest, while talking to another group, when an exchange of crossfire occurred between the occupants of two vehicles “who were shooting at each other.” Smith said.
Smith immediately announced another death, that of Kamal Jones, a 21-year-old man also resident in DC, which was recorded at 4:45 pm on Tuesday in the 1300 block of Savannah Street Southeast, making homicide number 201.
The DC police chief insisted that "we have too many guns on our streets and, as a community, we must do everything we can to prevent this violence from plaguing our city."
In the span of just one hour, “two members of our community have been murdered by senseless acts of gun violence,” he added.
Smith spoke to reporters on the eve of a hearing scheduled for Wednesday to decide her appointment as Washington's permanent police chief.
Regarding the record of 200 homicides, Smith considered it “a grim figure.” However, he said that, to her, “numbers are just numbers, because when we lose one person, whether it's one or 200, there are too many.”
Meanwhile, there are growing calls for the National Guard to intervene with its force to combat crime in the region.
“I think we need to get guns off the streets,” Smith said in response.
On the same topic, the president of the DC police union, Gregg Pemberton, in statements to the press highlighted the speed with which the area reached 200 homicides in September of this year. He said that last year, the District did not see that figure until December 29.
Pemberton attributed the situation to the D.C. Council's "treatment" of law enforcement and argued that along with political rhetoric "it makes policing more difficult and therefore less effective."
«Since the approval of the so-called 'emergency police reform' legislation in June 2020, more than 1,300 officers police have separated from the MPD," the union wrote in a statement.
According to statistics, DC reached its 100th homicide in early June.