D.C. Not Downgrading Crime Reports, Chief Ramsey Says


Washington, D.C., Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said his department will review how it handles reports involving “injured persons” to ensure that the cases are properly classified and investigated, the Washington Post reports. Ramsey spoke after revelations that police initially misclassified two robberies last fall as incidents involving injured persons — and not as crimes. Detectives failed to promptly investigate the muggings, even though both victims had been severely beaten and said they had been robbed. The two robberies could be linked to the Jan. 6 slaying of New York Times reporter David E. Rosenbaum.

The department does not keep a tally of incidents involving injured persons. They estimated that more than 1,000 such reports were filed last year. It was only after Rosenbaum’s death, when the victims pushed police to take action, that the earlier muggings received attention. D.C. Council member Kathy Patterson asked Mayor Anthony A. Williams why police had put so little effort into the two robbery investigations. She also asked in the letter whether officers “were under pressure to either not report crimes or misreport incidents” so the city appears to be safer than it is. Ramsey said the department does not downgrade crimes. “There is pressure to fight crime. There is not pressure to kill crime,” he said.

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/04/AR2006050401866.html

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