Mayor

Violent Crimes Down in DC, But Homicides Are Up 42 Percent

It has been a deadly year in the District, and with one month left in the year, city officials are expected to address the violent uptick Tuesday.

According to police data, violent crimes are down 7 percent this year when compared to 2017, but there's been a 42 percent increase in homicides.

As of Nov. 27, there have been 149 homicides in the District. At this time last year, 105 people had been killed.

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Mayor Muriel Bowser is expected to join residents in Ward 8 Tuesday to work on ways to address the wave in violence and to reclaim the neighborhood's streets with a crime walk. 

While at the scene of one of the city's most recent homicides, Police Chief Pete Newsham attributed the increase to the number of illegal guns on the city's streets. 

"We have to start taking illegal firearms very seriously in our city. Got another young man over there who lost his life as a result of an illegal firearm," Newsham said.

ANC Commissioner Kathy Henderson said outside drug dealers are also bringing trouble into the neighborhood. 

"People that come over here and they think that this continues to be the epicenter for drug activity, it is not," she said. "They are relics. That's a bygone day, and they can't come back over here to continue their drug activity. We've moved on from that." 

In a statement released Monday night, Henderson called for emergency legislation that would allow police to clear the block when they see people congregating or selling illegal drugs or single cigarettes.

Bowser's crime walk is scheduled to begin at 3:15 p.m. at 16th Street SE and Good Hope Road. 

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