Thirty years ago this evening, unrest broke out in Mount Pleasant after a young Metropolitan Police Department officer, Angela Jewell, shot Daniel Enrique Gomez, a Salvadoran resident. Accounts of what preceded the shooting vary—some say Gomez moved toward Jewell while holding a knife, while other eyewitnesses say Gomez was handcuffed when Jewell fired. The altercation prompted days of tension and violence between Latinx residents and law enforcement, and Mayor Sharon Pratt instituted a curfew in Mount Pleasant, Adams Morgan, and Columbia Heights. Much has been said about the uprising in the ensuing decades—check out the DC Public Library’s oral history, which includes firsthand accounts from those who were there, or WETA’s Washington in the ’90s documentary for more details—but images of flaming cop cars and residents running from tear gas remain indelible.
City Paper staff photographer and longtime Mount Pleasant resident Darrow Montgomery captured the events from Mount Pleasant Street NW. Below are a selection of his photos from May 5 and 6, 1991.