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The murder count is up and holding steady. D.C. saw the most homicides in a decade in 2019. Already this decade, nine people have been murdered, with four men killed the first weekend in 2020.

Why is the murder count rising? And how can the city stop the killings?

City Paper asked more than a dozen people—from a teacher who’s lost students to gun violence to an ex-homicide detective who makes murder documentaries to the Metropolitan Police Department chief. 

“Nearly all of them, from city officials to the formerly incarcerated, responded that there are people in D.C. who face a stunning lack of opportunity—who see a shiny new city, but no way to take part,” City Paper’s Alexa Mills and I, Amanda Michelle Gomez, write in today’s cover story. “They also say that rising rents have forced some residents into unfamiliar neighborhoods, pockets of the city where people feel insecure and on edge. And several people City Paper spoke with described a deeply fractured relationship between residents and the police.” 

Thursday’s cover story is a continuation of City Paper’s past coverage of the murders that have impacted every quadrant of this city. Read more: Lives Lost 2019; Three Men Who Have Lost Loved Ones Have Ideas About Making D.C. Safer; Anacostia High School Students Reflect On Gun Violence and Rally for Change; and As Homicides Continue to Rise in D.C., Parents of Gun Violence Victims Reflect on Their Open Wounds. 

Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com 

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • D.C. is clearing all encamped residents of the K Street underpass on Thursday, forcing them to find new shelter. “We don’t even have a home to be evicted from and yet we’re still being evicted,” says unsheltered resident Brandon Campbell. [WCP, Street Sense

  • Metro ridership actually went up last year. [DCist]

  • The owner of a row house that caught fire and killed two people is charged with murder. [WTOP, Post]

  • A building just collapsed at Florida Avenue and Staples Street NE. [DCist, Hill Rag]

  • Tech companies that feel guilty are throwing money at the housing crisis. But advocates are skeptical. [WAMU]

  • Union Station’s future plans have too much parking. [GGW]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals(tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Marcus Goodwin enters a crowded field to fill Councilmember David Grosso’s seat. [Post]

  • At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman worries that D.C.’s new paid family leave regulations will exclude some residents. [WAMU]

  • Meet the Republican hoping to replace Jack Evans on the D.C. Council. Evans resigned amid scandal, and his last day is tomorrow. [DCist]

  • Washington Met students delivered 1,200 signatures to the Wilson Building to keep their school open. [Twitter, WCP]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • The D.C. Food Policy Council sets ambitious goals for 2020. [WCP]

  • Pow Pow brings its vegan Asian comfort food to the downtown lunch crowd. [WCP]

  • Call Your Mother gets the green light in Georgetown. [DCist]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Look out for Lavender, a rising local band of AU grads and best friends. [WCP]

  • Liz At Large gets to the “Point.” [WCP]

  • This Sunday’s Jazz and Freedom Festival at Eaton DC is all about supporting immigrants. [DCist]

  • In an art world that has seen much change, D.C. needs its contemporary galleries. [Washingtonian]

SPORTS LINKS, byKelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • There’s only room for one Caps goalie and All-Star Braden Holtby and rookie Ilya Samsonov are playing for the job. [WCP]

  • Bradley Beal’s 23 points in his second game back from injury weren’t enough for the Wizards to overcome the Bulls in Chicago. [Bullets Forever]

  • Omer Yurtseven and Mac McClung combined for 39 points as the Georgetown men’s basketball team upset No. 25 Creighton, 83-80. [Reuters]

MAKE PLANS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Today, Jan. 16: You’ve probably heard of American Authors if you turned on your radio or shuffled through a Top 40 playlist on Spotify in 2013, when the alt-rock group first burst onto the airwaves with the feel-good anthem “Best Day of My Life.” 7 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $25.

  • Friday, Jan. 17: Seu Jorge spent years living on the streets before finally blowing up in his native Brazil, so it was probably a surprise to Jorge when he broke out internationally because of a Wes Anderson movie. 8 p.m. at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $45.

  • Saturday, Jan. 18: Get free admission to the National Museum of Women in the Arts to commemorate the fourth Women’s March on Washington. 10 a.m. at 1250 New York Ave. NW. Free.

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