According to several residents of the 1400 block of W Street NW, local troublemakers who used to live in the neighborhood have taken the Metropolitan Police Department’s “hot spot” designation to mean that the block is an ideal place for impromptu cookouts. Their favorite spot is an open concrete area between the apartment complexes at Nos. 1430 and 1436. One resident, who doesn’t wish to be named, claims that a few convicted drug dealers who have been evicted in the past six months are being inexorably drawn back to their old haunts. “Our standard crew would pull up in their cars and unload a grill….They would just set it up right there and party on,” she says. When asked if the police department tolerates such guerrilla-style barbecues, Sgt. Ronald Willkins, who witnessed the group in question having a July-4th-weekend cookout, says, “There’s nothing we can do until they break the law again.” —Bidisha Banerjee

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