Read the news reports, watch some interviews, or look up residents’ feelings on the status of Washington D.C. and it becomes readily apparent that what they are doing isn’t working. Now even Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser is speaking up. Tired of watching the same old status quo for their residents and especially their youth, she wants to see real change be enacted.
Speaking with NBC Washington on October 30th, she minced no words about the situation in D.C. following the death of a 15-year-old carjacking suspect. This youth had already been picked up multiple times for carjacking and was continuously pumped into and right back out of the system.
“In my opinion, you’ve been arrested for the seventh time for carjacking, [secure detention] is where you belong,” Bowser reportedly told reporters. “DYRS (Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services) does not make that decision. Judges do, and it’s the judge’s right to say I prefer shelter. And if I can’t get a shelter, then I’m going to send the child home. The child was sent home. The child is now not wish us.”
She continued “If we have children who are doing carjackings, it’s probably not a single one that they’ve done or have been arrested for. We need to make sure children don’t learn that they can do carjackings randomly and without punishment. A secured environment may actually help them get the services that they need.”
In this instance, it is widely known that this teen had been arrested seven times for carjacking. On her last arrest, before she died, D.C. Superior Court Judge Andrea Hertzfeld ordered her to be held at a secure house. However, DYRS claimed they were over capacity for their 88-bed secure house facility. In a place that is more like a halfway house than a deterrent system, kids can come and go to school and work, but they are required to be there at night. With no bed available, she was released to her parents with GPS tracking.
Carjackings have been some of the most widely reported crimes in the city recently. Even politicians aren’t immune, with Rep Henry Cuellar (D-TX) claiming he was carjacked by three armed men as he attempted to park his vehicle. This kind of crime is nearly impossible to trace, as cars are often just abandoned when they crash or run out of gas.
In some cases, they are sent to chop shops to be sold off as parts or put into containers for shipping along with other goods overseas. This makes it even harder to get back, and given insurance adjusters, replacing the vehicle once gone can be near impossible. Trying to make up for such a loss is difficult, and the victims rarely (if ever) get made whole. The sense of loss and helplessness is enraging, especially as D.C. largely makes it impossible to have a concealed firearm.
This kind of crime is difficult to see and truly recognize for what it is. It isn’t the victimless crime that criminals like to make it out to be. It’s incredibly costly for the victims as they lose out on their sense of safety and security. Even potential victims who fight back like an off-duty federal security officer who shot the would-be carjackers portrayed themselves as being armed.
In the end, a 12-year-old male was left dead, and it wasn’t a shocker when he much like the 16-year-old girl earlier had also been picked up not too long before his death.
These kids are showing their true colors. Raised around bad people, and seeing the results from crime compared to struggling with the straight and narrow, they opt for bad decision-making. A bad decision in and of itself, they are fooled into believing they have no other choice. Without crime, they won’t make it. Ultimately though, they have options and so does Mayor Bowser. She can mandate juveniles get locked up.
Kid or not, those committing violent or continuous commissions of crime are proving that they have no regard for the laws of man or the life of their fellow man. Much the same, we need to be asking why we should care about their excuses. Instead, we should be demanding they pay and learn that with stupid games, you get stupid prizes. That includes prison and death.