DC denies crime crisis amid notable uptick
Washington, D.C., leaders denied the existence of a “crime crisis” in front of Congress despite a recent increase in crime.
In a House Oversight Committee hearing, Chairman James Comer (R-KY) grilled D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and Councilman Charles Allen, both Democrats, over a recent increase in several violent crimes, including carjackings and homicides. Mendelson and Allen denied there was a crisis but acknowledged some concern.
US ATTORNEY IN DC DECLINED TO PROSECUTE 67% OF CASES IN 2022
“Radical left-wing policies have led to a crime crisis,” Comer said, Yahoo News reported.
Other House Republicans doubled down on the criticism and targeted Washington schools.
“You’ve got crappy schools,” Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) said. “Your schools are not only dropout factories; they’re inmate factories.”
However, Mendelson remained steadfast. He said the reality was that the city was getting safer.
“Yes, there is considerable concern, but while perception is important, the reality is less concerning,” he said about crime. “People should feel safe, and it is a problem that many residents of the district don’t. But the number of violent crime incidents in 2022 was 45% lower than the number of violent crime incidents in 2012.”
“There is not a crime crisis in Washington, D.C.,” he added.
Data from the Metropolitan Police Department show that while many crime stats decreased from 2021 to 2022, 2023 has seen a drastic increase in several crimes.
Compared to last year, year-to-date data show that homicides have gone up 19%, sex abuse 110%, motor vehicle theft 108%, and arson 400%. All property crime went up 27%, and total crime rose 22%.
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The figures cited by Mendelson were somewhat misleading. Homicides were up by over 230% in 2022 compared to 2012.
An investigation found that the Washington attorney general declined to prosecute two-thirds of those arrested in 2022, a figure double that of 2015.