District of Columbia

‘Playtime Is Over': DC, Prince George's Working Together to Reduce Carjackings

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D.C. and Prince George’s County announced they will work together sharing information to reduce violent carjackings, most of which are being committed by kids as young as 12.

The number of carjackings has gone up dramatically in the past two years in both jurisdictions.

“Our jurisdictions are working together to address disturbing spikes in gun violence, specifically as it relates to carjackings,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said. “We are particularly concerned about how many young people are involved in these crimes.”

Playtime is over. This is not a video game.

Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee

D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee expressed frustration with the high number of teenagers involved in carjackings.

“Over 100 kids in the District of Columbia arrested for carjacking,” he said. “Over 100 kids arrested in Prince George’s County for carjacking.”

“Let me tell you something: Playtime is over. This is not a video game,” Contee said.

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Beyond revitalizing the cross-border coordination in fighting carjackings, Bowser, Contee, Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and Prince George's County Police Chief Malik Aziz offered few concrete solutions and spent much of the press conference pointing the blame at the courts, prosecutors and legislative bodies for not holding young people accountable when they are arrested, referring to those entities as the ecosystem.

“What I have said is that the entire ecosystem is broken,” Alsobrooks said.

All four said youths who are being arrested are not being held accountable by prosecutors or the courts, but when pressed by reporters to show data that juveniles who have been arrested once and released are out on the streets committing more carjackings, they were unable to do so.

News4 asked the D.C. Attorney General’s Office for data on juvenile prosecutions and is waiting for that data to be released.

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