Washington Likely to Reclaim ‘Murder capital’ Title

It was in the early 1990s that Washington DC was named the ‘murder capital’ after the city’s death toll reached as high as 479 in 1991. Although homicides do not occur as much as they did in the 90s, there is still reason to be alarmed. Over the weekend, the city of Washington marked its 101st dead four months before the year ends. Because of this, many authorities are wondering if the city will be taken back to its bad reputation that nearly sent away all investors for fear of their security.

In 2014, Washington DC recorded only 105 homicides. As things stand now, the city is likely to pass that mark this year. The uptick of the deaths after over a decade is worrying the city’s Mayor who said, “We can’t tolerate this amount of violence anywhere in this city. Nobody should be used to it. My message, especially to the children that I encountered yesterday, is that this is not normal, okay? This is not how life is supposed to be.” What is more surprising is that the recent deaths have not been reported from the south-east region which for a long time has been regarded as the usual hotspot, rather, from well-populated areas in the central parts of Washington. In these areas, many brazen attacks have been orchestrated leading to many deaths.

In response to the recent crime spree, Washington DC police chief Cathy Lanier said that one cannot point to a single cause of the rising cases of the city’s homicide deaths. Ms. Cathy said that there is however a common theme when looking at the deaths. “I will tell you, the motives for the cases that we’ve talked about over the past several weeks range from somebody throwing rocks at somebody else, to somebody losing a craps game, to somebody wanting to take somebody else’s winnings in a gambling game, to a baby crying. They are varied but one of the common things that we are seeing: too many guns in too many homes, and in the hands of too many willing violent offenders that we have to get off the street.”

As a way of enticing people to report crime cases that involve deadly weapons, Chief Cathy has issued a $2, 500 reward to anyone who will be willing to report any illegal guns to the authorities. Her efforts have however not been supported by the police union. On his part, Detective Gregory Pemberton said that what actually causes the rise in the city’s homicide deaths is the flourishing of flea markets where money, drugs, and guns trade freely.

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