DC Police Union Chairman: 'Ferguson effect' partly to blame for violent weekend

Police responded to numerous stabbings and shootings across the city over the weekend. FOX 5's Emily Miller reports.

A violent weekend in D.C. has residents worried about an increase crime that is sweeping big cities like Baltimore.

Overall homicides are up this year in the District as are crimes with guns, robberies and assaults.

Since last Friday, at least eleven people have been shot and another eleven people stabbed.

The public is worried that this is a result of the anti-police sentiment by many around the country that is now being referred to as the "Ferguson effect."

"It was getting better, but lately it seems there's more going on in this city and Baltimore and other places too," said D.C. resident Cody Goebel.

"It's sickening, it's awful, and I see it happening more rapidly and more frequently," said Ann Hamilton. "It just makes me sad because it's like it has become the norm, but there is nothing normal about it."

D.C.'s violent weekend started at 9:20 p.m. Friday with a shooting on 8th Street in Southeast.

Other incidents included a shooting and stabbing on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue across from St. Elizabeths Hospital, a shooting at 3rd Street and Upshur Street in Northwest D.C. as well as three more shootings and a stabbing around the city. The violence on Friday night ended with a shooting at the 2800 block of Alabama Avenue in Southeast.

On Saturday night, there was a shooting on R Street in Southeast and a triple stabbing on 7th Street, NW across from the Verizon Center.

The violence continued on Sunday with a stabbing in Southeast D.C. and a shooting in Northeast.

The violent weekend came to a close at around 9 p.m. when four people were stabbed in a domestic violence incident in the U Street corridor. A 64-year-old woman, Santos Ventura, was killed.

What is the cause of the crime spree? D.C. Police Union Chairman Delroy Burton said there are two reasons.

He said the police department has lost over ten percent of the force in the last year a half. They have either quit or retired.

"Fewer police officers on the street, less visibility -- equals more activity," said Burton. "So if they know the police aren't coming, then the criminals are emboldened."

He also blames it on the so-called "Ferguson effect." Police are afraid of being blamed for incidents with minorities.

"Since Ferguson, every single police encounter, particularly with someone who is a minority or someone who is black, is somehow deemed to be racism or discriminatory policing -- and that is garbage," said Burton.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser told FOX 5 she has been working on solutions.

"I have told them to push the pedal down faster so that the chief can have all the tools available to fight crime," said Mayor Bowser.

On Monday afternoon, a man was fatally shot and another person was injured at Benning Park in Southeast D.C.

For the violent crimes this past weekend, police have made arrests for three of the incidents.

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