Washington DC Police Chief Robert Contee on Friday criticized the city’s rising crime rate, emphasizing “You can’t coddle violent criminals,” and the White House’s new strategy to tackle violent crime.
A shooting Thursday night in the popular DC 14th Street dining hall that left two injured and diners fleeing for their lives led to Contee’s visit to the busy hallway to speak with entrepreneurs.
“People are really crazy right now and I don’t blame them because I am. That’s the reality,” he said.
“I think people are tired of being sick and tired. I think people want to make sure there’s accountability for what’s happening in our communities.”
He begged, “I ask the members of the community: join me.”
Police Chief Robert Contee spoke out about the current wave of violent crime across the country and specifically in Washington DC
He complained about the lack of accountability of the individual criminals themselves and the lack of resources of the shrinking power
The DCP is asking the public for help identifying the unknown gunmen or gunman
“My vote is only one voice and I’ve been saying this for a long time… I’ve been with this police force for over 30 years. This is the same movie from when I was growing up here as a boy. When are we going to do something else?’ said Contee. “And what different looks like — what doesn’t happen here — is accountability.”
Contrary to the Biden administration’s strategy of focusing on arms dealers rather than individual criminals, Contee said he wants to crack down on those who have led to an increase in crime.
“I’m talking about those individuals who blatantly use illegal firearms on our street,” Contee clarified.
But resources are scarce. A ‘shrinking workforce’ is a problem in the department, which is now short of more than 200 officers, as well as generally limited resources.
‘What am I going to do with these resources?’ he said. “I know that’s a long answer—but it’s the truth.”
Hours before the shooting in the 14th Street corridor, the Justice Department announced it would launch firearms smuggling forces in five cities, including D.C.
During Friday’s daily White House briefing, press secretary Jen Psaki commented on Thursday night’s shooting.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki commented on the DC shooting, explaining that the Biden administration is just beginning a crackdown on violent crime
Pskai reiterated that the White House is focusing their attention on the illegal arms dealers and not on the individual criminals
“A lot of us live there or live in the neighboring communities or know people who are on 14th Street or in the adjacent areas — and for people who aren’t, who see or hear this, who aren’t from those neighborhoods, there is a lot of restaurants there, a lot of foot traffic, this is a pretty popular part of town that many of us live in,” Psaki said.
She explained that the government has just begun cracking down on violent crime and has plans to curb the illegal arms trade.
“We are just implementing our strategy, which is a multifaceted effort to work with local leaders, including mayor [Muriel] Bowser, who has been a wonderful partner to us in this effort to address gun violence that is on the rise in cities across the country, including Washington.”
Providing communities with tools and resources to reduce gun crime, including in Washington, DC, is part of the plan.
“DC is one of five rural areas where DOJ launched arms smuggling forces yesterday.”
Contee spoke passionately about the crime wave in DC, saying ‘You can’t coddle violent criminals’
Police are still looking for gunmen who shot two on 14th Street, a popular eatery
One man was shot in the chest and one in the arm, but neither was not life-threatening
Surveillance camera images released by police showed two people bumping into a waiting black Honda Civic
Psaki said Bowser’s budget proposal would invest $59 million to reduce violent crime.” “It would add 100 new places to the cadet program and add $14 million for youth safety initiatives.”
Two men were injured in the shooting, but neither had life-threatening injuries. One of the men is considered the target, while the other is considered an innocent bystander.
Police are still looking for the gunman or gunmen who fled Thursday. They released footage of a black man in a lime green or yellow hoodie and another man in black running from the crime scene and jumping into a waiting black Honda Civic.