Stephanie Ramirez, Fox 5 DC, August 8, 2023
On Tuesday afternoon, Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White held a news conference in Southeast by the scene of Saturday’s mass shooting on Good Hope Road.
White called on the entire community to help stop the surge in violence that has led to a 28% increase in homicides in the District.
While he said it’s only a “piece” of the puzzle, the council member said he supports possibly calling in the National Guard to help patrol the streets.
White disputed the acting police chief’s comments she made after the mass shooting, saying the neighborhood is now a “warzone,” and residents are hearing gunfire at all times of the day.
So far this year, 161 lives have been lost, compared to 126 this time last year, according to police records.
This weekend alone, D.C. police confirmed 11 people had been killed from Friday to Sunday.
“We’re tired of this sh-t,” Councilmember White said passionately. “Enough is enough. And excuse my language, but I want to be frank with the young men and young ladies we serve. It’s not okay for you to load up 30, 40, 50 – 120 rounds in a gun and shoot up our community.”
On Tuesday, D.C. Councilmember @trayonwhite asked for the National Guard to step in amid the District's rise in crime.
— 7News DC (@7NewsDC) August 9, 2023
Councilmember White also noted several shootings are happening right in front of police officers.
He wants the presence of armed, sworn military members who will have arresting powers.
He also raised the issue of there not being enough police officers on the force to patrol Southeast.
FOX 5 also asked about the council reportedly moving to defund the police department in 2020.
“That’s not true,” White said. “The police budget has not decreased in the 7 years I’ve been on the council. In fact, it has increased. And while the budget has increased, and guess what has also increased? The crime in the community,”
The D.C. Police Union blames the council’s emergency police reforms for today’s staffing shortages and violence.
The union also responded to Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau’s previous comments to FOX 5 where she called “public safety” her top priority.
“In 2020, the Council passed the Policing and Justice Reform Act. This was a 26 subtitle bill that made sweeping changes to policing. The bill eliminated due process and disciplinary rights of police officers, created a new ability for investigators to ‘Monday morning quarterback’ all uses of force, prohibited officers from using body-worn camera to complete basic reports, and generally hamstrung police. Councilmember Nadeau added several amendments to this bill that prohibited officers from protecting themselves and others in a riot. She also openly advocated to ‘defund the police’. The fact that she is now pretending to be ‘pro-public safety’ is laughable. She is absolutely to blame for the violence and mayhem in this city,” wrote D.C. Police Union Chair Gregg Pemberton, “Before we discuss bringing in the National Guard, we should be having serious discussions about repealing the Policing and Justice Reform Act of 2021, which prohibits cops from doing their jobs of keeping communities safe and keeping criminals off the street.”