(RepublicanNews.org) – In a 12-1 vote, the democrat-controlled D.C. Council passed an emergency safety bill on July 11th to deal with the city’s sharp uptick in crimes of a violent nature. The 13-member council is composed of eleven Democrats and two independents.
Council Chairman Phil Mendelson had acknowledged prior to the vote that crime in the city was so bad one “can get away with murder.”
The Chair’s comment was a departure from statements he made two months ago when he said that “perception” of extreme crime levels did not match the reality on the street. His March comments suggested that crime in the city was significantly down when compared to its historically-high levels in the 1990s and 2000s.
The bill’s passage will make it simpler for judges to order the detention of those with violent crime charges as they await trial. It will also see penalties increased for items such as carjacking, strangulation, and firing a gun in public.
Data released by D.C. Police showed an extreme rise in crime across all categories from 2022-2023. Robberies had climbed more than 50%, murders were up almost 20% and abuse was up 35%.
“A state of emergency,” is how Councilwoman Brooke Pinto described the city a day before the bill was passed. She also told reporters the council was obligated to “act urgently.”
Mayor Muriel Bowser has said she intends to bring a similar bill to the council in the fall after they return from their summer recess. Bowser has said she hopes the legislation will lead to a long-term solution for the city.
One element of Bowser’s upcoming proposal would make it more difficult for those incarcerated to be granted early release. Inmates currently incarcerated for crimes they committed prior to turning 25 years old are seen as eligible for release or resentencing after serving 15 years behind bars. Bowser’s proposal would force potential parolees to jump through additional hoops.
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