City leaders meet with community to discuss violent crime in DC

- D.C.’s top leaders gathered for a candid conversation with the community about violent crime in the District at a public meeting Thursday night.

As far as statistics go, the city is subtly improving as violent crimes that include robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon, sex abuse and homicide are down compared to last year. According to D.C. police, there have been 4,651 violent crime incidents so far this year compared to 4,834 incidents at this point last year. Homicides are also down from 121 last year to 106 this year.

But residents at this meeting continued to express their concerns about safety in D.C. In the past week, there have been a rash of overnight shootings and stabbings throughout the city.

D.C Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Police Chief Peter Newsham and a panel that also included D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine addressed some of those concerns, but they continue to tout a safer city this year.

"This is an opportunity for the entire system to talk about what's happening in the District of Columbia as it pertains to violent crime,” said Mannone Butler, executive director of the District of Columbia’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. “From MPD all the way across the D.C. Superior Court, the leaders of each of our agencies are here to talk about what they are seeing from their perspective of violent crime.”

“Giving the public an opportunity to engage our criminal justice stakeholders is always important,” said McDuffie. “So having an opportunity to ask questions of MPD, ask questions of our prosecutors – both federal prosecutors as well as our local attorney general’s office, and questions for our Court Services and Offender Supervision office. I think it’s really important to be able to bring all of these stakeholders together and be more outward-facing so the public has the opportunity to engage.”

But two statistics that remain virtually unchanged for the city from last year are assault with a dangerous weapon and sex abuse.

Assault with a dangerous weapon is only down 6 from 1,860 this year to 1,854 last year while sex abuse is down 3 from 271 to 268.

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