The Washington, D.C., police chief said during a Friday press conference that the rise in crime is “unacceptable.”
Gunfire erupted Thursday night on 14th street near the popular Le Diplomate restaurant. Multiple gunshots were heard and two people were reportedly shot.
D.C. police chief Robert Contee said that the reality is that violence has been happening all across the city “for a long time.” In 2020, Contee said more than 922 people were shot in Washington D.C. and 198 people were murdered.
“It’s unacceptable in any community,” Contee said. “This should be shocking to the conscience of every person in our city. I don’t care where you live, it’s gotten the attention that it has gotten now because it’s happened where it happened.”
D.C. police chief Robert Contee on rising crime in the city: “It’s unacceptable in any community…This should be shocking to the conscience of every person in our city. I don’t care where you live, it has the attention that it is gotten now b/c it’s happened where it happened.” pic.twitter.com/pNIvgBlI0l
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) July 23, 2021
He also mentioned the shooting at the Nationals Stadium that happened Saturday night and said there are “too many guns” in the city. (RELATED: After Nationals Park Shooting, DC Police Union Blames ‘Elected Officials’ For Explosion In Violent Crime)
“We can take the political route and talk all of this fluffy stuff, but I’m going to give it to you straight, where the issues are.”
“The justice system that we have right now, it is not functioning the way that it should. The courts are not open. That is a fact. Barely open. So cases from last year, from 2020 that happened during COVID, violent criminals, they have not been disposed of, what do you think those individuals are?”
The police chief brought up the “vicious cycle” of people who commit crimes with “no accountability” and end up back on the street.
Contee said that he hopes all violence gets the amount of attention that Thursday’s shooting did, because a lot of times when he goes to the scenes of violence it is just him and other police officers and no media.
“This was real for some people, but it has been happening in communities across our city,” Contee added. “And I’m saying to you, enough is enough. We want to help people, and yes you should, but you cannot coddle violent criminals.”
“You cannot treat violent criminals who are out here making communities unsafe for you for your loved ones, for me, for my loved ones – they might not want a job. They might not,” he continued. “They might not need services. What they may require is to be off of our streets because they’re making it unsafe for us.”