Mayor Muriel Bowser
Mayor Muriel Bowser Credit: Darrow Montgomery/File

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Mayor Muriel Bowser deleted a tweet with tips to prevent auto thefts Sunday evening after receiving significant backlash and accusations of victim blaming.

The now-erased tweet, sent from Herronor’s official account, came less than a week after Uber driver Mohammad Anwar was killed in an attempted carjacking near Nationals Park. Anwar died at a hospital on March 24. A graphic video of the incident began circulating on social media over the weekend. On Sunday, Bowser’s official account tweeted “Auto theft is a crime of opportunity. Follow these steps to reduce the risk of your vehicle becoming a target. Remember the motto, #ProtectYourAuto” along with a video of five tips for preventing auto theft. The Metropolitan Police Department announced a carjacking and auto theft task force earlier this year to address a recent spike.

Anwar, 66, immigrated to the United States in 2014 “to build a better life for himself and his family,” according to a statement his family gave to the Washington Post. A GoFundMe page for Anwar’s family has raised more than $730,000 as of Monday morning. Two girls, ages 13 and 15, are facing felony murder charges.

Critics around the country accused Bowser of victim blaming. It appears the tweet was deleted around the time the New York Post‘s article about it was published early Sunday evening. A statement Bowser’s communications office sent to LL says the tweet was prescheduled.

“Carjackings are a senseless act of violence that risk the lives of innocent individuals, and over the course of this month, we have worked to raise awareness about a troubling increase in this violent crime, related arrests and safety tips,” the statement says. “Yesterday’s prescheduled social media post was part of that effort and should not detract from the tragic death of Mohammad Anwar. Our thoughts and prayers remain with his family and the families of those we have lost to violence.”