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Last week, we pointed out that while assembling a database of the year’s homicides, the blog Homicide Watch D.C. noticed there were 18 that didn’t seem to show up in either media reports or on the website of the Metropolitan Police Department, where press releases for such tragedies are usually logged. City Desk contacted MPD and asked them what the deal was.
MPD spokesperson Gwendolyn Crump suggested MPD hadn’t forgotten to issue the releases. There had just been a small mistake—they hadn’t been put up on the website. The situation has been corrected, she says: “Thanks for bringing this to our attention.” But Homicide Watch says there are still nine missing.
Not to be too hard on the department, but the idea that a homicide might not have gotten a press release sends a chill. Though as far as we know, MPD isn’t obligated to issue press releases about murders, if some show up on the site and others don’t, what does that mean about the investigations those homicides undoubtedly spawned? Are they getting the attention they deserve? Or are they also missing?