City Paper is not for tourists
Good morning readers. And, while I have your attention, let me take a minute to join the long list of public officials and say: I’m very saddened by the Metro crash. Condolences all around. But, jeesh, it’s not the only thing to go down Monday night.
Petworth residents are perturbed by a possible new round of gang warfare that broke out in their hood hours after the Red Line crash. Just before midnight Jun. 22, police say, there was a double shooting on the 600 block of Quebec Place, N.W. A woman suffered a gunshot wound to the leg and a man – who police believe was shot at the scene and fled in a car that crashed – later died of his injuries, Ward 4 Councilwoman Muriel Bowser told her constituents yesterday.
About three hours later, police responded to an apparent shootout on the 500 block of Shepherd Street, N.W.They reported finding cars riddled with bullet holes but no victims.
Bowser says police are investigating a link between the two incidents as a “suspected gang beef.”
Monday night’s wee-hour gunplay was just the latest street violence in Petworth and prompted a new round of recriminations over the D.C. Council’s failure to pass legislation aimed at cracking down on the city’s allegedly growing gang problem.
“Having lived in petworth my entire life and having seen Petworth at its worst, all I am simply saying is lets come up with solutions period!Whether a neighborhood beef or a gang or just someone randomly in the neighborhood shooting.It all needs to stop.We already know the problems in the area lets do something about it,” Roneal Josephs posted to the MPD-4D Listserv. His was one of several comments on the shootings.
Elsewhere in the city, debate also continues over the crime bill torpedoed earlier this month over concerns that the proposed measures could lead to racial profiling. The Washington Post had a story Monday quoting “youths” who say they need more and better extracurricular activities to lure them away from the streets.
But how to create successful programs is an ongoing challenge in D.C. and around the country. Anyone who works with teenagers knows getting them to consistently show up for structured and constructive afterschool time is an uphill battle. It’s a well-known fact that nonprofit organizations often end up vying for the same pool of kids willing to give these activities a try. Sadly, the ones who choose to participate rather than hang unsupervised on the streets are not necessarily the ones most “at risk” for gangster life.
When I was a reporter covering gangs in the Boston area a few years ago, a high school principal made an observation that gets to the heart of the matter: He said combating the spread of gangs is like fighting against the tide. Every year, a new generation rolls in.