On May 16, a woman died after being shot by a Metropolitan Police officer in Southwest, D.C.
The officer-involved shooting happened in the 100 block of Joliet Street, SW around 6:30 p.m. near Bald Eagle Recreation Center in Ward 8. Police said authorities arrived to the crime scene after receiving a call for a crash in the area and then a subsequent call about an armed woman.
“They found a woman who appeared to be armed with a gun, and shots were fired,” D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said in a news conference on May 16. As of May 17, police have not released the woman’s name.
Newsham did not disclose how many times Isabelle Duval, 41, a resident of Winchester, Va., was shot by police, and said the department will investigate the case and talk to witnesses to get more information.
“We shouldn’t have a firearm discharge in this city at all,” Newsham said. “It’s extremely dangerous, not only is it dangerous but it scares people, especially young people.” There have been five officer-involved shootings in D.C. in 2017.
Moments after the shooting, District residents met at the Seventh District Police Station in Southeast, D.C. for an Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting.
A representative from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s community affairs, Jamal Holtz, told the AFRO on May 16 that Bowser is working with the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation to place security cameras, lights and fences around centers in Ward 8 such as the Douglass Community Center in Southeast D.C.
“Crime is everywhere,” Ward 8 ANC Commissioner Khadijah Watson told the AFRO. Watson said it seems like there are higher concentrations of crime in Wards 7 and 8, even though there is crime throughout the entire District.
“We need to find some way to get rid of drugs,” Watson said. She added that solutions for violence in the area are creating jobs for residents, an increase in rehabilitation programs and youth assistance.
Ward 8 Council member Trayon White (D), who was at the scene of the officer-involved shooting, also attended the neighborhood meeting to discuss education, supporting small businesses and introducing legislation to get rid of late fees for parking and traffic violations.
“In my opinion it’s not about public safety, it’s about generating revenue,” White told the AFRO, in reference to D.C. police issuing tickets for parking and speeding at all times of the day and night.
White told the AFRO that public safety should be focused on deterring crime, which is what his bill “Safeway Home Act of 2017” strives to do.
The legislation was introduced on Feb. 7 and cosponsored by various council members, including Council members Vincent Gray (D-Ward 7) and Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3). The act, if passed, would provide violence outreach and community programming through annual government-funded grants.
“I don’t believe locking up people in masses is the end all be all to crime,” White said.