More than 10 percent of Washington, D.C.’s spiking number of homicides this year have involved previously known violent offenders who have recently been released from prison, says Police Chief Cathy Lanier said yesterday, the Washington Post reports. Lanier said that of 91 homicides this year, ten offenders “have previous homicide charges and are recently back in the community,” He added: “Ten. That's significant and it's different from anything we've seen before,” she said. Fifty-five of the homicides still are open cases.
Lanier, who addressed reporters with Mayor Muriel Bowser, said that she still did not know what was driving the city's rising homicide count, up 28 percent from this time last year. City officials are under pressure to show that they are undertaking a meaningful strategy to stem the tide. District police have responded by fanning out in some neighborhoods and by altering their patrols and visibility in other neighborhoods, Lanier said. But the slayings have continued, sometimes in the course of petty arguments. “In some of the violence we've seen recently, it has just been dispute resolution with a gun. It's that simple,” said Lanier. Bowser said police were reviewing deployment strategies and considering “preventive measures” such as better lighting and cameras in public housing and high crime areas.