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D.C. Mayor Bowser’s Crime “Crackdown” Too Little Too Late

Posted on Tuesday, October 31, 2023
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by Andrew Shirley
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43 Comments

AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Shirley

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. police chief Pamela Smith
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Police Chief Pamela Smith.

Following years of soft-on-crime policies, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is now finally attempting to curb the city’s rampant crime. But critics argue her actions aren’t enough to overcome the radical anti-police actions of the city council, and say the two-term mayor has failed to take any accountability for her role in enabling the chaos.

Bowser’s most recent tack came last week as her office announced the Addressing Crime Trends Now Act, or “ACT Now plan.” The measure once again makes it illegal to wear a mask while committing a crime following the suspension of that law during the pandemic, creates new criminal penalties making it illegal to organize or direct anyone in a theft-for-profit scheme (an effort to address the spate of smash-and-go robberies throughout the city, which have seen pharmacy and convenience store shelves robbed bare) and allows the chief of police to declare temporary “Drug-Free Zones” to address open-air drug markets and loitering.

Most controversially of all for D.C. Democrats, the ACT Now plan partially reverses a blanket ban on chokeholds passed by the D.C. City Council in 2020 that makes any touching of the neck area by police a “serious use of force.” Under the new language, officers are allowed to make contact with a person’s neck but not the throat – a change requested by police after many officers reported being afraid to make any physical contact with a suspect even in necessary situations.

Under Bowser’s bill, D.C. Police officers could also engage in car chases in certain situations after a 2021 city council decision prohibited virtually all motor vehicle pursuits by police. Notably, following passage of that law, carjackings in the nation’s capital skyrocketed. There have been more than 800 reported carjackings in D.C. this year alone – already more than double the total number in all of 2022.

Other crimes in the nation’s capital have also climbed precipitously. Compared to the same time period last year, all crime in D.C. is up 27 percent. Violent crime is up 41 percent, robberies are up 70 percent, and homicides are up 33 percent. The city is currently on pace to record the most murders in two decades.

At the same time, the D.C. Police Department has struggled to retain officers and hire new ones as the city council wages an all-out war on law enforcement. The force has seen a net loss of 500 officers since 2020, with many citing the city government’s anti-police policies as a reason for leaving.

Acting D.C. police chief Pamela Smith was alongside Mayor Bowser to announce the new proposed legislation last week and offer her support. “The legislation is responsive to what we are hearing from the community and takes important steps forward in clarifying existing legislative language to ensure our officers are able to fully perform their duties,” Smith said.

However, the bill may face an uphill battle when it comes before the city council. Several liberal interest groups are already mobilizing against it, with the ACLU’s D.C. chapter accusing Bowser of being “more focused on protecting police officers when they break the law than on improving public safety.”

The council also has a history of being one of the most extreme anti-police legislative bodies anywhere in the country. Earlier this year, members voted to override Mayor Bowser’s veto of a law that eliminated mandatory minimum sentencing and reduced maximum penalties for crimes like robbery and carjacking. The measure also legalized nuisance and unsanitary behaviors like public consumption of alcohol and urination, raised the requirements for noise complaints, and made it more difficult for police to enforce penalties against carjacking.

The legislation was so radical, in fact, that even President Joe Biden signed a measure led by Congressional Republicans blocking the bill from taking effect, using Congress’s authority over the District.

However, it must be noted that Bowser herself participated in creating a culture of anti-police, soft-on-crime extremism in the nation’s capital. In 2020, she sought national attention by turning herself into a high profile opponent of President Donald Trump during the violent demonstrations in Washington following the death of George Floyd.

Bowser commissioned “Black Lives Matter” to be painted in giant yellow letters on the street directly outside the White House in an apparent attempt to “troll” Trump. According to Fox News, activists “soon added the message ‘Defund the Police’ to the street mural, as was seen in aerial images taken above the nation’s capital at the time.” Mayor Bowser did not have the addendum removed.

Bowser only changed her tune when it became clear that the crime was not subsiding – and when she was up for reelection.

Now, it appears Bowser is reaping the consequences of her actions. Having directly enabled and supported the rise of the Defund the Police and criminal justice “reform” movements, she is now taking only minor steps to reverse course.  

Andrew Shirley is a veteran speechwriter and AMAC Newsline columnist. His commentary can be found on X at @AA_Shirley.

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GMA
GMA
5 months ago

Democrats have allowed this type of nondisciplinary action to gain favoritism of the voters..they have put all of us (including themselves) at risk..makes no sense..yet, Democrats have no real sense to begin with.

Charles Williams
Charles Williams
5 months ago

The citizens of DC have for years allowed crime to flourish. They brought it on themselves. Leniency towards criminal activities can never succeed in reducing crime. Leniency and reduction are polar opposites, how could the end result be anything but increased crime. DC, you get no sympathy from me. You’re getting what you asked for.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
5 months ago

Law and order Democrats? Must be an election year and a crime poll was released…

Rik
Rik
5 months ago

GUILTY AS CHARGED! . . . But don’t expect this to really happen unless she, herself, is victimized by her lack of legal exercise! Wouldn’t that be fitting?

DieselDave1951
DieselDave1951
5 months ago

The residents get what they deserve. They’ve voted these fools into office. Will they never earn?

Jeri
Jeri
5 months ago

The people of DC have 2×4 mentalities. They need a 2×4 upside the side of the head with more brutality and regularity on a daily basis. Over time they will figure it out or die. Can you imagine being that hard headed and thick skulled?

michaelR
michaelR
5 months ago

Is there ANY city in the US that’s run by an elected Black official that’s not crime infested?

Joyce
Joyce
5 months ago

I find it interesting and tragic that democrat run cities and states have to have the lawless environment land on their own front doorstep before they start screaming for the police to defend them! The democrats created this nightmare, expecting citizens to accept the lawlessness of their newly defined government and they didn’t give a flying fig! Democrats are reaping what they have sown! Bring back the laws of society! I for one am fortunate to live safely in a red state!

J. FARLEY
J. FARLEY
5 months ago

It never ceases to amaze me at how stupid big city left wing law makers and brain damaged Mayors are.
I have a novel idea, hire competent Chiefs of Police, and let them enforce the laws that are on the books and make sense and if you they have a law enforcement officer who goes beyond what’s an appropriate action and fair treatment of a person, don’t change the law, change the offending officer and if need be prosecute them to the full extent of the law, don’t weaken the law or the enforcement, because of a few stupid officers.
I have had a close association with members of law enforcement officers and have found that 99-percent are hardworking and dedicated people who only want to keep our communities and states safe from those who do harm to the citizens.
My association with members of law enforcement has been both on a professional level and as social friendship and members of my family have been in law enforcement.
We have lost good people in law enforcement because bad mayors who would rather protected criminals and demean good officers and pass bad laws, all to look good in the eyes of liberals and those who hate America.
Who are the first people to call an office of the law when they are in trouble the very liberals who when given the opportunity will turn of law enforcement!
Every law enforcement office that I know has said that law-abiding people should be armed and ready to defend themselves. Remember that when seconds count an officer is minutes away.
God Bless our Law Enforcement, they do protect and serve!

Amacer
Amacer
5 months ago

Prohibiting masks to be worn while committing a crime? Okay, I’m sure the law-abiding criminals will abide by this without fail.

Ty
Ty
5 months ago

For once Hollywood is right. “Stupid is as Stupid does”!

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
5 months ago

What took so long??

Thinking
Thinking
5 months ago

You can’t put the Genie back in the bottle. The ultra left liberals are sowing chaos by wanting to eliminate the police. Anarchy is what the city council wants. And they got it. Crime is up anyone in DC can be next even these liberal city council people. Only they don’t see it. They find the police worse than the criminals.
There was no violence on Jan 6 by the demonstrators. The violence that was done was done by the FBI AGENTS and the capitol police. They never mention Ashley Babbitt who was shot and killed by a capitol police officer. All of a sudden that was okay. After all any opposition is seen as an enemy. That is why mayor Bowser did not call in the national guard on Jan 6. Now three years later she has a lawless city and wants to reverse it.
The ultra left wants to create a society where everything is allowed. What can we expect from a me me society that has been created over the years. Nobody wants to be told what to do, wants to take responsibility for their actions and wants to have what other responsible people have. The DEI society, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion does not include the reps and certainly not Trump and his supporters they are the enemy. We see that every day with the Pro Hamas demonstrations and university students revolt. Members of the House are spreading sedition and nothing is done. Are the rest of the House members so afraid of them? Had a republican member said what they said they would have been ousted and arrested and charged.
But do we hear anything from the White House to stop this?

VikkiC
VikkiC
5 months ago

Just like Beijing Biden…a day late and a dollar short!

Philip Seth Hammersley
Philip Seth Hammersley
5 months ago

AS a phony crackpot “preacher” once said, “Her chickens have come home to roost!”
These idiots cannot (will not?) see the obvious consequences of their actions! It’s not brain surgery; it’s just good old common sense!

Leesson1
Leesson1
5 months ago

They’ll get no sympathy from me. We see the same thing in Chicago. Every morning I watch the morning news which spends much of its news time covering the previous day’s numerous shootings, carjackings, smash & grab robberies, etc., etc. I love it-the Bozos, who keep the Democrats in office, deserve everything they get. The Dems know they have nothing to fear so they do nothing but give lip service. Keep it coming!
Incidently, we no longer travel into the city and highly recommend others avoid visiting this lawless cesspool of crime.

Joanne4justice
Joanne4justice
5 months ago

Interesting this Mayor???? Is as dumb as Lori Lightfoot aka Leadfoot! Aka Boston nemesis Neither one of these women has ability to lead or be in their position in governance!! How sad!!!

anna hubert
anna hubert
5 months ago

I am not sure if I should laugh cry scream or just throw my arms up in despair Seems that only requirement for public office is a total cluelessness

NIcholas Elder
NIcholas Elder
5 months ago

Affirmative action!

David Millikan
David Millikan
5 months ago

And the Criminal loving democrats with the D.C. Mayor want D.C. to become the 51st State just so they can get another 2 Senators to support their Fascist agenda.
The democrats Love their Criminals with Zero Bail and Illegal Alien Terrorist Invasion, and Sanctuary States all while using YOUR Tax Dollars. They support Terrorist antifa, Terrorist blm, Terrorist, Criminals, and their Number One Criminal Dictator Beijing biden.
Doesn’t that make you feel SAFE by the democrats attacking Innocent Americans and our Freedoms and Constitutional Rights.?
All just so they can have POWER and CONTROL over everything in YOUR lives.
WAKE UP AMERICA!
The Clock is ticking.

Elaine
Elaine
5 months ago

Once you let the genie out of the bottle it takes forever to stuff it back in. Bad AND stupid actions have LONG term consequences!

CLIFFORD F GERACI
CLIFFORD F GERACI
5 months ago

These Progressive socio fascists are great at creating problems, then using big government to “come to the rescue”….and yet year after year, voters keep putting them into power…..idiots.

Lloyd Grisham
Lloyd Grisham
5 months ago

The people of D.C. voted these fools in. My bet is they get reelected. You reap what you sow.

Dr. Zorro
Dr. Zorro
5 months ago

The District of Criminals (Washington DC) is having these two characters spearhead this alleged crackdown on crime. That should bring comfort to the citizens of this city and fear to the criminals.

Jackie
Jackie
5 months ago

I’m not exactly sure what these Democrat Mayors and Governors were thinking when they decided to go along with the “Defund the Police” groups!! There is nothing good that could come from this move of not supporting your police or telling them to stand down!! Then you have the DAs that don’t do anything to the criminals!!! Then they act all surprised when the criminals keep committing crimes!!! WOW!! How do these idiots get elected??? Are we all that stupid that we can’t elect good representatives in any position?? Or is it that anyone who is smart enough to run the country, a state, a city is also smart enough not to get involved in politics!!! But that doesn’t help us any!!! We need some good people to run!!!

Carolyn Exposito
Carolyn Exposito
5 months ago

The Democrats are reaping what they have sowed. Disgusting and vicious power-grabbing criminal party is now under attack by the people who want an end to their lawlessness. Turning criminals out on the streets and imprisoning their political enemies hasn’t worked out too well for them.

patriot
patriot
5 months ago

2 Democrap black females who must have been picked for DEI. Maybe D.C.needs a couple of real men with the guts and guns to put a stop to the crime and bring safety back to the Capitol city!

Kathy
Kathy
5 months ago

Ah, create a problem, first with chaos, then come back with a partial solution! Exposed. Hope D.C. citizens who are rooted in our Constitution and the rule of law take back ‘the peoples’ capital city. Otherwise, the future is grim.

Linda
Linda
5 months ago

No society can thrive without law and order…tougher consequences are needed…Public SAFETY SHOULD COME FIRST..JUST AS SECURE BORDER

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
5 months ago

Nothin wrong with Bowser. It’s just blacks gettinmg back at whites for their slavery. Kyle L.

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