City Desk

Culture of Fear in D.C.

Can we get Mike Davis in here? Cathy Lanier's latest plan to stop the wave of violence (still bellow 90s levels) in D.C. is a nice, friendly quarantine of the most troublesome pockets of the city. From an exclusive report in the Examiner:

Under an executive order expected to be announced today, police Chief Cathy L. Lanier will have the authority to designate “Neighborhood Safety Zones.” At least six officers will man cordons around those zones and demand identification from people coming in and out of them. Anyone who doesn’t live there, work there or have “legitimate reason” to be there will be sent away or face arrest, documents obtained by The Examiner show.

Aside from the obvious historical comparisons in New York and Russia, it strains the mind to imagine how this will do anything other than displace crime, and send a very clear message to kids growing up in D.C. that the police already think they're criminals.

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  • IMGoph

    new york and russia? how about comparisons to nazi occupied warsaw? let's just go straight for the godwin's law reference, right?

  • setup upsets


  • Astounded

    WTF is right. I am a law enforcement officer (not an MPD officer though) and I live a stone's throw from Trinidad and found my house literally in the center of the weekend's shooting spree. This plan though takes things too far. I became a cop to protect civil liberities, not have the power to just trump them.

    Lanier has proven to be a responsive Chief, lets pray that she rethinks this proposal and adopts proven methods such as license checkpoints (which check for valid license and vehicle registration on a predetermined pattern, every car, every other car, etc and have the ripple effect of dissuading criminals from driving around and area), foot patrols and (in my younger days I'd never thought I'd say this) community policing. Best way to know when trouble's coming is to know who the good folks are, who the thugs are and who are the folks that try to have it both ways.

    One other things, we - DC residents, have to stop accepting things like drug dealers on the corner and prostitutes walking the streets. Complain! Call 911 each and every time, call you council member! Don't take no for an answer. I refuse to. I never mention that I'm a law enforcment officer either, just another District resident.

  • Matt S

    What is your proposal to address the violence that is a plague on this city? Her plan is outrageous, but if you don't like it, your journalistic duty is to present an alternative. Go do some leg work and get a story.

  • jon

    curious as to why you mention "(still below 90s levels)" -- it implies you think things aren't too bad? just another 8 or 9 people murdered every weekend...?

  • Ernest

    While drawing her "obvious historical comparisons", the author is obviously under the impression that Vilno is located in Russia, whereas, objectively, it’s in Lithuania. Which is, like, if adjacent to Russia, is, like, a totally different country.

  • Angela Valdez

    No no. I was just linking and lazy. If you check, the New York link also goes to a long list of lots of places.

  • Ryan Grim

    It's not a journalist's job to present alternative policing plans. Get ahold of yourself, man.