DC Police Chief Says Average Homicide Suspect Has Eleven Prior Arrests Before Committing a Murder
Will Potter, Daily Mail, March 8, 2023
The Washington DC Police Chief has slammed lenient law enforcement tactics for allowing the nation’s capital to be plagued by violent criminals.
Robert Contee revealed that the average homicide suspect has a shocking eleven prior arrests before they commit a murder.
‘What we’ve got to do, if we really want to see homicides go down, is keep bad guys with guns in jail,’ he said.
‘When they’re in jail, they can’t be in communities shooting people.’
Contee made the declaration while speaking alongside DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, after a reporter asked him how cops plan to stamp out a recent crime wave sweeping the nation’s capital.
Contee’s comments come amid a spate of violent offenses being perpetrated across the US in recent months by criminals with lengthy rap sheets.
Faced with questions over why violent thugs are running rampant on the nation’s streets, the police chief had a straightforward solution.
‘We need to keep violent people in jail,’ he said.
‘When people talk about what we’re gonna do different, or what we should do different, what we need to do different, that’s the thing that we need to do different.’
The nation’s capital has become a crime hotspot in recent months, with official statistics showing a 34 percent rise in homicide rates since last year.
Cases of arson have skyrocketed a shocking 300 percent this year, sex abuse crimes are up 120 percent, and motor vehicle theft is up 110 percent.
Last month, DC’s failure to crack down on repeat offenders was on full display after Congresswoman Angie Craig was attacked in her apartment building.
The Minesota Democrat was assaulted by serial criminal Kendrick Hamlin, who was free despite a criminal record that included 13 prior assaults.
‘I got attacked by someone who the District of Columbia has not prosecuted fully over the course of almost a decade, over the course of 12 assaults before mine that morning,’ Craig said at the time.
‘I mean, it wasn’t even in every instance that he got 10 days or 30 days. Many times, the charges were completely dropped before any justice was achieved at all.’
Contee’s statement alongside Mayor Bowser came as the duo took a victory lap following the removal of a DC City Council bill to soften penalties on violent crime.
The legislation would have changed the criminal code to reduce penalties for crimes including burglaries, robberies, and carjackings.
But before it was sent to the Senate, where it was widely expected to be rejected, the city council announced it was withdrawing the bill.
Mayor Bowser had previously vetoed the legislation in January, with one of the major sticking points being the removal of minimum sentences for most crimes.
The unpopular bill caused a political headache for President Biden after he backed a GOP proposal to block the criminal code changes just weeks after condemning it.
Under mounting pressure, the legislation was officially withdrawn this week, following its initial blocking in the House.
The U-turn occurred amid increased awareness over violent crime on the east coast, with two people shot in DC just days before the council’s decision.
Law enforcement are still investigating the shooting, which erupted in northwest DC as a woman was peacefully walking down the street.
A 29-year-old man was shot in the stomach during the incident and later died in hospital, while the female bystander was shot in the leg as numerous rounds of gunfire peppered the sidewalk.
‘I do believe with a good degree of surety that the young lady walking down 14th Street was very likely not an intended target and was an unfortunate bystander who was struck by gunfire,’ said Third District Cmdr. James Boteler.
And last year, it emerged that infamous subway shooter Frank James had an extensive criminal history prior to opening fire on a packed Brookyln train.
He was arrested in April in the days following the horrific shooting, leading to him being charged with carrying out a terrorist attacked on mass transit.
After wounding at least ten people in the horror shooting, a desperate manhunt was launched across the Big Apple which came to a close after he was recognized by a civilian.
James’ rap sheet stretched back three decades, and included arrests for possession of burglary tools, criminal sex act, larceny, and criminal tampering.
The failure of law enforcement to remove him from the streets prior to his mass shooting raised questions over the leniency of penalties for criminals with numerous prior arrests.
Contee’s call to arms for law enforcement to up their game was cemented by a recent push by neighboring New York, which has seen a significant decline in subway crime after a crackdown by Mayor Eric Adams.
The New York Police Department announced on Tuesday that subway crime is down 21.5 percent from the same time last year, after Adams ordered more cops to patrol the underground transit system.
In just the first nine weeks of 2023, authorities say, cops doled out nearly 10,000 more summonses than at the start of the last year.
And with the Big Apple turning a corner, citizens are enjoying the lowest level of subway crime in decades thanks to increased police presence and stronger penalties for criminals.