Washington DC

‘Crime Is Allowed to Continue': Father of Slain Journalist Frustrated by Illegal ATVs

Charnice Milton was a journalist who was waiting for a bus on Good Hope Road when she was shot in May 2015

NBC Universal, Inc.

D.C. police are looking for ATV riders in connection with a road rage shooting that left a man with serious injuries in Southeast D.C. earlier this week.

The crime brought back horrible memories for Ken McClenton, whose daughter’s shooting death seven years ago also involved ATV riders. His daughter, Charnice Milton, was a journalist who was waiting for a bus on Good Hope Road in May 2015 when she was shot.

While riding ATVs or dirt bikes on city streets is illegal, police say they cannot enforce the law because of the department’s no-chase policy.

"There’s not to be any person driving ATVs or dirt bikes in the District of Columbia," McClenton said. "We were frustrated by the fact that that crime is allowed to continue."

Police are still investigating whether Milton was used as a human shield by the intended target. Police later released video of ATV riders in connection with Milton’s murder, but there was never a break in the case.

"It seems as if crime is allowed, it’s OK, and unfortunately, there is so little respect for the police, so little respect for the law," McClenton said.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says the police department is going to reset its approach to ATVs.

"Some of these stunts that we see people doing, they think it's fun and games," Bowser said.

In the past, D.C. officials have released images of riders and offered reward money to help identify them. A few years ago, police released video of seized bikes being crushed.

Bowser is now hinting at new enforcement involving the department’s traffic division and more visibility in entertainment districts, where the rumble of these riders is often heard on weekends.

"ATVs are for off-road ... By definition, they're illegal on the road, and they’re dangerous," she said.

McClenton is planning to meet with detectives to get an update on his daughter’s case for the first time in three years.

While he isn’t convinced that police are going to make headway in cracking down on ATV riders, he's still hopeful his daughter will get justice

"It will be the day I die before I give up hope," he said.

Police said the Milton case is still open and active, but no arrests have been made. A $25,000 reward is offered for help in solving the crime.

Contact Us