WASHINGTON - Logan Circle leaders and neighbors held a safety meeting Monday night in response to the stabbing death of jogger Wendy Martinez last week.
The meeting brought dozens of concerned neighbors together at the nearby Marriott Marquis hotel where D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham and Ward 2 D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans spoke to the group.
Newsham brought residents up to date on the Martinez murder case, stressing that there is still no motive and reports that the attack may have been racially motivated cannot be confirmed. Newsham also commented that it would be a stretch to connect the suspect Anthony Crawford's use of K2 or synthetic marijuana to the crime.
Evans called for more police patrols in the area around Logan Circle, which neighbors seemed to agree would make them feel safer. Newsham said he would make that happen while stressing that violent crime is down in ANC2F, which includes Logan Circle.
Neighbors also suggested engaging providers of resources for the homeless and people with mental health issues to address safety concerns in the area.
However, Newsham urged neighbors not to stereotype homeless people as violent because of Crawford's homelessness.
Several of Martinez's friends attended the meeting and told the police chief they didn't want her death to be in vain.
Newsham said he would make pictures of the packaging for K2 available to the public so they could identify it and call police if they witness anyone selling the synthetic drug. He also asked neighbors to call police if they come across a person who is demonstrating behavior that could endanger themselves or others.
Newsham also addressed concerns about how quickly Martinez's murder was solved compared with the numerous unsolved homicides in Ward 8 over the weekend. He pointed to surveillance video and Third District patrol officers' familiarity with the suspect as the reasons officers identified Crawford so quickly.