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17-year-old Christopher Brown, a father of a 1-year-old boy with another kid on the way, was shot and killed after midnight on Sunday, and at least another 21 others were injured in a shooting during a cookout in Southeast D.C.
Another individual, a 22-year-old police officer who was off-duty at the time, is “struggling for her life,” said Police Chief Peter Newsham during a press conference on Sunday. The officer remains in serious condition, as of Monday morning. The gunshot wounds for the rest of the victims, two of whom were minors, were not life threatening.
“I really don’t understand how my child’s life is just gone … just an innocent kid’s life taken for you know whatever so reason,” Brown’s mother, Artecka, told the media Sunday.
In a press conference on Monday, Newsham said at least four shooters opened fire on Dubois Place in Southeast while hundreds gathered for food and music. Over 100 bullets were fired.
It has been an especially deadly year in the District. So far, there have been 118 homicides, a 20 percent increase compared to 2019, the deadliest year in a decade. At least 570 people have been shot in D.C. this year, including 46 over the last seven days.
The police knew about the cookout or block party before the shooting, but there were not enough officers to break up the crowds of people. The gathering, which was advertised on social media, went against a mayoral order that says crowds of more than 50 people are prohibited due to the coronavirus pandemic. In response to this, the councilmember of the ward, Vince Gray, said in a statement that “people are gathering without regard for life, creating an even greater epidemic within this pandemic … we must do all that we can as leaders to keep residents safe.”
“I am very concerned a gathering of that size was able to accumulate,” said Newsham during Monday’s presser. The Metropolitan Police Department will be reviewing why officers were not able to break up a group of this size. Newsham also said organizers could be charged and held accountable.
Mayor Muriel Bowser, for her part, was more focused on why a few individuals with guns fired at a party.
“You are asking me to highlight a mayor’s order that you can’t gather or you must wear a mask to a person who has a gun and will shoot it into a crowd of girls,” she told a reporter who pointed out local commissioners say there is no teeth to Bowser’s ban on large gatherings. “We have to think of some new ways to communicate to a person who would do that.”
She also says there is a “conundrum” because she does not want gatherings of that size, but people are also telling her not to send the police because it’ll escalate things.
—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? email@example.com)
DC Health updated its list of states where individuals must quarantine for 14 days if they travel from there. Alaska, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Minnesota are added to the list, while Delaware, Ohio, and Washington state are out. [EOM]
As of Aug. 10, D.C. reported no additional deaths related to COVID-19 and 54 new positive cases, bringing the total numbers of people to 591 and 12,807, respectively. D.C. has seen multiple peaks in cases during Phase 2, as recently as July 27. [EOM]
D.C. is paying $2 million per month for hotels so people can quarantine. Many rooms are vacant, even though many families living in crowded homes could use them. [Post]
The general manager of WAMU resigns after receiving pressure from staff over creating a toxic workplace. [DCist]
LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals(tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mailers, virtual debates, and robo calls will define the 2020 at-large Council race. Twenty-four candidates are running to replace outgoing Councilmember David Grosso. [Post]
The Virginia legislature will consider policing reforms during a special session this month. [WAMU]
The D.C. statehood bill, H.R. 51, could give control of the capital’s three electoral votes to whomever lives in the White House. [Washingtonian]
The D.C. Democratic Party is considering a drive-in watch party for next week’s convention. [Georgetowner]
YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? email@example.com)
BRINE opens Aug. 17 on H Street NE serving a seafood-centric menu. [WCP]
A major local caterer is hosting drive-in movies. [WBJ]
Understanding the mostly playful debate about which country makes the best jollof rice. [Eater]
ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
How Brenda Parker helps tell the stories of the people who were enslaved at Mount Vernon. [WAMU]
These are the winners of Emergent Seed’s microgrants for D.C. area writers and composers. [Washingtonian]
Local musical theater performer Jade Jones debuts a five-song mixtape as Litty Official. [DC Metro Theater Arts]
SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? email@example.com)
Kelyn Soong is away from his desk.
As long as coronavirus cases are still rising, the National Gallery of Art’s sculpture garden is the best art bet in town.