When it comes to the illegal dirt bikes and ATVs zooming across city streets, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says, “enough is enough.”
Lanier and heads of other regional police departments held a press conference earlier today to address the trend of illegal dirt bikes and ATVs tearing down public streets in the District and the surrounding areas.
Crowds of bike and ATV riders have been spotted on H Street NE and near NoMa, among other locales in Captiol Hill.
In her address, Lanier vowed to “pursue relentlessly these illegal ATVs and dirt bikes and move forward with their destruction.” The department has also released photos of 245 individual photos of ATV and dirt bike riders in an effort to identify and charge them.
“We have tourists and children and residents . . . that are being impacted by this and that’s just unacceptable,” Lanier said. “We are not going to put people’s lives at stake.”
Lanier said the department has already seized 400 vehicles and arrested 100 people in connection with its “latest operation,” but cautioned that further operations would not include risky police pursuits.
“It’s not going to involve single officers getting behind one or more of these vehicles and initiating a pursuit,” she said, citing putting officers and pedestrians at risk as the reason why.
This is not the first time the department has vowed to get tough on illegal ATVs. Police have previously asked residents in the area to report ATV and dirt bike riders. Additionally, Ward 6 D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen co-sponsored a bill to target the vehicles and their drivers last July.
More information on the newest campaign from a D.C. Police press release:
The Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPD’s) Criminal Intelligence has gathered close to 250 photos of individuals recklessly driving dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on the streets of the District of Columbia. These types of vehicles are dangerous to pedestrians and other motorists and are illegal to operate on DC’s streets.
The MPD is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the operators of these vehicles as well as any locations where the vehicles are being stored. A reward of $250 is being offered for information on each person identified.
To share a tip, contact the Command Information Center at (202) 727-9099 with your information. The tip must lead to a successful confiscation and identification of the driver/operator of the vehicle.
Photos via MPD
The shooting occurred about 10 p.m. on the 1900 block of East Capitol Street, according to an email from Metropolitan Police Department First District Commander Jeff Brown. When police arrived, two victims were found with gunshot wounds to the leg and foot. Later, a third victim arrived at a hospital with similar injuries.
The Washington Post reported that the two victims on the scene were two girls who were leaving a basketball game at the high school when they were shot at from a passing car. Police do not have a suspect description in the shooting.
On Saturday, a man was robbed on the 600 block of Orleans Place NE, near Gallaudet University. The man reported that he was approached by three men who demanded his property about 8 p.m. Saturday.
The man gave the thieves his cell phone and money. Police officers were on the scene in less than two minutes and placed all three suspects under arrest. The victim’s cell phone was found on one of the suspects and returned.
There were two robberies reported in the Capitol Hill area on Sunday. The first happened about 7:15 p.m. near the intersection of H Street NW and North Capitol Street.
A woman reported that she was approached by three men, one of whom stole her cell phone and shoulder bag. The three suspects escaped on North Capitol St. NE, according to police. Police did not provide a suspect description in this case.
The second robbery happened two hours later about 9:15 p.m. on the 1200 block of D Street SE. According to police, a person reported that they were approached from behind by two men, one of whom was armed with a gun. The thieves stole money from the person and fled on D Street SE.
Both suspects were described as black men in their early 20s. The man with a handgun was described as 6 foot 2 inches tall with a thin build and wearing a ski mask and dark, baggy athletic suit. The second suspect was described as 6 foot 3 inches tall wearing similar clothing.
Over the weekend, MPD Chief Cathy Lanier also sent out a citywide alert warning about robberies in which victims were targeted after agreeing to buy or sell items on a online retail site.
Though there have been no reported robberies of this nature in the Capitol Hill area recently, Lanier advised that people using online retail sites like Craigslist meet in a well-traveled and well-lit area when making transactions.
Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier announced today that the investigation into an Oct. 12 detainment that sparked protests on Capitol Hill concluded that the officers “acted appropriately.”
The investigation begun after a video showing the forceful handcuffing of 18-year-old Jason Goolsby, who is black, by two white officers. Goolsby was handcuffed after police received a report that three individuals might be trying to rob people at an ATM on 600 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Today, Lanier announced that the officers were not found guilty of any wrongdoing in the encounter.
“We feel that the officers’ actions, given the entirety of the circumstances, were appropriate and within department policy,” Lanier said.
Neither Goolsby nor his friends who were with him at the time were arrested or charged with a crime, though Goolsby was handcuffed for a period of time after fleeing the police when they first arrived.
There was no formal complaint filed with the police department, but Lanier called for an investigation into an incident after Goolsby’s lawyer told media that Goolsby had been detained for two hours or more.
A video of Goolsby being handcuffed sparked protests, including a march on Capitol Hill in which attendees chanted “justice for Jason.” Lanier repeatedly emphasized the fact that the video that sparked protests only showed a small part of the encounter.
Though Lanier emphasized that the officers acted appropriately, she did note some details that “changed the dynamic” of the incident, including the fact that a 911 dispatcher incorrectly told officers that a robbery had been occurred.
“There was a mistake from the dispatcher in repeating the call to the responding officer that these individuals had robbed someone, were involved in a robbery,” she said. “So even though another officer came over the air at a later time and said it’s suspicion, it does change the dynamic.”
Lanier also said that the police department hopes to start using body cameras on officers in 2016, which would make investigations into incidents easier.
More than 300 people packed into the cafeteria of Friendship Public Charter school to voice their concerns about recent crime to Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen and Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier.
The 7 p.m. meeting was organized by Allen in response to recent crime on and around Capitol Hill. D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, t-Large Councilwoman Elissa Silverman, Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Klein and a representatives from the mayor’s office were also at the meeting.
Allen began the meeting by outlining work on new bills in the D.C. Council dealing with crime.
In response to several audience questions, Lanier said she has increased foot and bike patrols around the area, but that more police visibility alone can’t stop crime. She also emphasized that a large amount of the crime is being committed by small groups of people who may not live in the area.
Several people vented their frustration with the U.S. Attorney’s office, which is responsible for prosecuting crimes in the District, claiming that too many crimes go unprosecuted.
ANC 6B commissioners Denise Krepp and Diane Hoskins both asked the representative from the U.S. Attorney’s office for data on what percent of crimes are investigated and prosecuted. Both commissioners took to Twitter to say that data needs to be released after the representative from the U.S. Attorney said he could not provide it.
Doug Klein says @TheJusticeDept pursues cases w. evidence (great) but won't share data. Why? Expected to take their word. Need data.
— K. Diane Hoskins (@kdianehoskins) October 28, 2015
Lanier also clarified that the U.S. Attorney’s office only prosecutes crimes committed by adults. Crimes committed by juveniles are handled by the District Attorney General. Lanier added that if someone is assaulted by a juvenile, he or she has to appear before the Attorney General the next day or the case won’t go forward.
In response to questions about how community members can stay aware of police activity, Allen suggested several outlets for residents, which he also tweeted.
— Ofc of Charles Allen (@CM_CharlesAllen) October 28, 2015
You can sign up for MPD 1D listserv here: https://t.co/142FpOswdU
— Ofc of Charles Allen (@CM_CharlesAllen) October 28, 2015
Photo via Twitter/ CM Silverman Office
(Updated 1:50 p.m.) Police swarmed Union Station just before 1 p.m. after a security guard shot a man who stabbed a woman, according to police.
Officials with D.C. Fire and EMS confirmed that the man who was shot was hospitalized and is in critical condition.
A police spokesperson said that the man stabbed the woman and then fled. A contracted security guard on the scene chased the man. The man, who was still holding the knife, turned around and accosted the security guard. The security guard then fired one shot which hit the man.
The police also confirmed that the initial stabbing appeared to be a domestic dispute.
CNN reporter Jim Sciutto says that police chief Cathy Lanier told him that the stabbing victim and the suspect who was shot were in a relationship.
Just in: DC police chief Kathy Lanier tells me security guard shot man who stabbed his girlfriend at Union Station
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) September 11, 2015
Washington Post reporter Robert Costa shared this photo of the crime scene, near the McDonalds in the Amtrak part of the station.
Crime scene at Union pic.twitter.com/WQBOyxoN4D
— Robert Costa (@costareports) September 11, 2015
Riccardo de Marchi Trevisan, who lives near 15th and A streets SE, started a petition yesterday, calling on Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. police Chief Cathy Lanier to improve safety in Hill East. Posted on Change.org, the “Protect Hill East Citizens’ Safety” petition has more than 220 supporters so far.
The petition says Hill East residents “don’t feel protected and safe” and “are afraid to walk down the street, commute to the Metro and take our kids to surrounding recreational parks.”
ANC 6B, which represents Hill East and some of the surrounding area, has seen an overall decrease in crime within its borders so far this year, according to D.C. crime statistics. But armed robberies, assaults with guns, burglaries and car thefts are up.
Numerous suspected thieves also have been caught on video around Hill East in the past couple months. Three of those individuals allegedly attacked and robbed a man in the neighborhood last week.
Trevisan said he hasn’t been a victim of a crime in the neighborhood. But the 34-year-old software development company executive said he’s troubled by reports about Hill East crime.
“I am very concerned because, as it happened to several neighbors, it can happen to me, to my wife,” Trevisan said in an email, noting he has a 2-year-old son.
Representatives of Bowser and Lanier didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Chart via the Metropolitan Police Department
Da Luft Restaurant & Lounge on the H Street corridor has had its liquor license suspended after police say a bystander was injured and a police officer was assaulted in a fight that spilled out of the bar.
The D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board ruled today that Da Luft can’t serve alcohol due to an “imminent danger” the panel said the bar poses to the public’s health and safety. Da Luft has three days to request a hearing on the board’s decision.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier closed Da Luft for four days and requested an immediate revocation of the bar’s license after officers saw a brawl outside the 1242 H Street NE bar early Saturday morning.
A bystander was cut in the leg during the melee, and a police officer had a hand put to his throat while trying to stop the fight.
A Da Luft representative didn’t immediately respond to inquiries.
The brawl started in Da Luft after 12 a.m. Saturday when customers and employees argued over whether the bar’s rooftop could be used for a birthday party, according to a letter from the ABC panel to owner Josephine Ijiti. About 30 people were celebrating on the bar’s second floor.
A female bystander was knocked to the floor, cut in the leg with an “unknown blade-like object” and then robbed, the board said. The fight then spilled onto the sidewalk, where it was spotted by police.
Da Luft tweeted this week, in response to the group H Street Great Street, that the woman received “a laceration on her leg bumping into a chair, no crime existed.” After the woman was injured, Da Luft security employees moved customers outside, according to the ABC panel.
It took about 20 police officers about 20 minutes to break up the fight, according to the panel. About 40 Da Luft customers apparently were involved in the brawl.
Police said they did not receive a call from Da Luft’s security employees, whom police said were sent home before authorities could interview them. The scene was cleaned by the bar’s staff before police could examine it.
Police said they couldn’t immediately access the surveillance system Saturday morning, either.
“The Metropolitan Police Department is very concerned about the safety and welfare of the citizens living in and visiting this city,” Lanier wrote in a letter to Ijiti on Saturday. “I would be remiss in my duties if I did not address the concerns and the safety of the citizens of the District of Columbia following this altercation which initiated inside of your club and ultimately resulted in one of your club’s patrons sustaining lacerations.”
Da Luft Restaurant & Lounge on the H Street corridor won’t open until at least Wednesday after a fight broke out there over the weekend, injuring a bystander and an officer, according to police.
DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier closed Da Luft for four days and requested an immediate revocation of the bar’s license after officers saw a brawl outside the 1242 H Street NE bar early Saturday morning. A bystander was cut in the leg during the melee, and a police officer was assaulted while trying to stop the fight.
Da Luft posed an “imminent danger to the health and safety of the public,” Lanier wrote in a letter to Da Luft’s owners, Josephine and Temitope Ijiti.
“The Metropolitan Police Department is very concerned about the safety and welfare of the citizens living in and visiting this city,” Lanier wrote. “I would be remiss in my duties if I did not address the concerns and the safety of the citizens of the District of Columbia following this altercation which initiated inside of your club and ultimately resulted in one of your club’s patrons sustaining lacerations.”
A Da Luft representative didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
The brawl broke out inside the bar before 1 a.m. Saturday. A female bystander was knocked to the floor, cut in the leg with an “unknown blade-like object” and then robbed, police said. The fight then spilled onto the sidewalk, where it was spotted by police.
Da Luft tweeted last night, in response to the group H Street Great Street, that the woman received “a laceration on her leg bumping into a chair, no crime existed.”
After the woman was injured, Da Luft security employees moved customers outside, police said.
Police said they did not receive a call from Da Luft’s security employees, whom police said were sent home before authorities could interview them. The scene was cleaned by the bar’s staff before police could examine it, according to the letter by Lanier.
Police said they couldn’t access the surveillance system Saturday morning, either. A manager said co-owner Temitope Ijiti, who had left for the night, was the only person who could get the surveillance video.
A detective called Ijiti, but the person who picked up the phone would not acknowledge the officer.
The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration continues to investigate the fight and may take further action against Da Luft, a spokeswoman said.
Photo via Facebook/Da Luft Lounge
Mayor Muriel Bowser’s budget proposal has the police chief’s OK.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier spoke in favor of Bowser’s budget proposal for public safety, in remarks at a community meeting last night.
“What we’ve got in this budget overall is excellent for us,” Lanier said at a First District Citizens Advisory Council meeting held at the station house.
“[Bowser] put $2.9 million back in the budget to help me push cops back out,” Lanier said regarding a proposal to create 48 new positions for civilians, which will move officers back onto streets.
Lanier also praised the $2.5 million plan to retain officers through college tuition assistance and forgiveness.
“An officer that has a college degree is a better police officer,” she said.
The police chief said she expects the proposed $5.1 million initiative to equip officers with body cameras will cut complaints about police misconduct.
“Everyone acts better when there’s a camera,” Lanier said.
Bowser’s budget proposal for financial year 2016, released Thursday, would raise the Metropolitan Police Department’s operating budget from about $513.6 million approved in financial year 2015 to $538.3 million. The entire budget must be approved by D.C. Council.
District police will work to improve community relations in response to reports of racial profiling and unwarranted stops, Police Chief Cathy Lanier said at a community meeting on K Street NE last night (Thursday).
Young black men who grew up north of the H Street NE corridor are constantly stopped by police and questioned about crimes, longtime residents told Lanier and First District Commander Jeff Brown.
Philip Johnson, a financial consultant who lives on the 800 block of 5th Street NE, said his 23-year-old son gets questioned by police an average of once a week when he’s home from college. Police stops of young black men seem to have increased as the H Street NE corridor has drawn newcomers, Johnson, 71, said.
“My son has to show his ID almost each time his feet hit the street,” said Johnson, who Lanier said she invited to speak at the meeting after they talked for an hour-and-a-half by phone.
“The colonists have arrived and we have an occupying army enforcing the rules,” he said.
Lanier said newcomers to the area are misinterpreting everyday scenarios as crimes, like reporting drug deals when they see young black men standing on a corner.
“You have a lot of people here who haven’t lived in an urban neighborhood who are calling police for a lot of new things,” she said at the meeting held at J.O. Wilson Elementary School.
Johnson agreed with that assessment.
“A couple of guys walk through an alley like they’ve done their whole lives, and the newly arrived neighbors think something untoward is happening,” he said.
Lanier said officers will reduce unnecessary stops by getting to know residents one by one, and by getting more officers out of patrol cars and onto bikes and Segways.
“The officers should know who lives in the neighborhood,” she said. “You see a car window open when it’s raining and you know whose door to knock on … That’s what a beat officer is.”
Brown defended police and said officers make stops based on information reported to them about suspects.
“The majority of the time, we’re responding to a description we received,” he said.
Mozella Boyd Johnson, another 5th Street NE resident, said an officer has repeatedly come to her home this fall, demanded information about her family and refused to provide his name. Her new neighbors apparently accused the family of selling drugs.
“These new people just got here two months ago, and we’re getting all this drama,” Johnson said.
Lanier said the treatment of Johnson’s family by a bike officer is under investigation. She promised continued conversations with locals about racial profiling.
“We’re not going to back away from the issues. I don’t want you to back away from the issues either,” she said.
Philip Johnson said he was open to a one-on-one meeting between police and his family, as Lanier suggested, but that he wasn’t sure a sitdown would prevent his son from being stopped.
“[Lanier] is saying all the good things, but the officers on the beat are not operating like she says.”
Police Chief Cathy Lanier and First District Commander Jeff Brown will lead a discussion at 6 p.m. Thursday at J.O. Wilson Elementary School (660 K St. NE), Brown announced this morning (Monday).
Total crime is up in the First District — which covers Capitol Hill, Hill East, the H Street NE area and Southwest. A total of 5,981 crimes were reported this year through Dec. 7, compared with 5,565 in the same period last year, marking an increase of more than 7 percent, Crime Map data shows.
The overall number of violent crimes reported dropped in the past year, with a decrease in homicides, and robberies that did not involve guns.
There was a nearly 10 increase in property crimes, with 5,368 this year, compared with 4,883 last year, the data shows. The number of reported burglaries dropped 38 percent (from 396 to 287), but the number of reported thefts, thefts from cars and stolen cars all rose, at 10 percent, 16 percent and 27 percent, respectively.
Photo via MPD
City officials and the MPD are working down to the wire to have concealed weapon rules ready when they go into effect Wednesday, Metropolitan Police Department Chief of Police Cathy Lanier said.
“We’re scrambling to get everything done by that date,” Lanier said at a question-and-answer session held on Capitol Hill Tuesday night.
Lanier will have discretion to approve or deny applications, which will first become available on Wednesday. She said she expects revisions to the emergency legislation signed into law last week.
The police chief weighed in on policing strategies, her next position and more in the talk at the Hill Center with NBC4 reporters Mark Segraves and Tom Sherwood.
On Officers’ Need to Carry Guns: Lanier responded to Councilman David Grosso’s comments last week questioning whether all MPD officers need to carry guns. “We’d all like to live in a society where no one has to carry a gun to enforce safety standards, but that’s not the society we’re in right now,” she said.
On Broken Windows Policing: “I think the whole zero tolerance policing thing is what we’re seeing play out across America today … I’m not a fan of zero tolerance policing. I think it alienates the community. What you’re doing is arresting the largely law-abiding citizens in neighborhoods with the most crime. What you’ve done is alienated your victims and witnesses.”
On Her Next Job: “I’m flattered every time I get the calls [about other positions], but I think I’ll know when it’s time to go and I just don’t feel like it’s time to go.”
On Women and Work: “Most male chiefs have wives at home doing their laundry and cooking. I don’t have a wife at home. I have to do my own laundry, my own grocery shopping.” She said she tries to reserve Sundays as personal days but often reports to crime scenes and hospitals.
On Supporting Police: “Being supportive of officers and saying thank you helps boost morale,” she said. “You would not believe how big, burly, kind of macho cops get all red-faced and grinning when someone reads a nice letter.”