After multiple violent crimes in recent weeks, residents of Northwest D.C.'s NoMa neighborhood are pleading with police for help.
Following three murders in two weeks, frustrated residents told police officials and Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen at a community meeting Wednesday night that they want a reduction in violent crime and prostitution.
Kevin Sutherland, 24, was murdered on board a Metro train near the NoMa station on July 4. Thomas Harris, 52, was fatally injured the next day on New York Avenue NE. And a third murder at 3rd and Perry streets NE remains unsolved.
D.C. Police District Commander Willam Fitzgerald said that unlike the murders, a burglary and shooting inside the upscale The Flats apartment building last Sunday does not appear to be a random crime.
"Some activities they were involved in appear to be the cause of this," he said, refusing to elaborate.
Neighbors said they have been seeing an unwelcome surge in street prostitution. Police theorized that new development at Mt. Vernon Square has pushed prostitutes into NoMa.
"It would be nice if there could be more concerted effort so children -- elementary school kids -- don't have to step over or be picking up dirty condoms and latex gloves in front of their schools," one local said. "It's totally unacceptable. It's known at the highest levels of city government, the highest levels of the police department, and yet it continues."
Police promised additional patrols of the area.