By Micha Green
AFRO D.C. and Digital Editor
mgreen@afro.com

The District has reached its highest homicide rate since 2004, with already 200 fatalities in the nation’s capital since the beginning of the year.  With weeks left of 2021, the homicide count is expected to rise.

The homicide count reached 200 after a fatal shooting on the 4700 Block of South Capitol SE on Nov. 22. The majority of the District’s homicides have been shootings.

D.C. reached its 200th homicide, the highest rate the District has seen since 2004. (Courtesy Photo)

“Last night marked the District’s 200th homicide this year.  These are children, parents and friends.  The grief and fear are too much. The status quo approach to public safety is not turning the tide on violent crime,” At-large Council member Robert White (D) tweeted.

Many politicians and law enforcements contend that homicide rates have increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However many say that the violence challenges in the District have needed addressing even before COVID-1kept more people home and in their communities.

“The pandemic exacerbated challenges that long ago deserved attention and investment.  Everyone wants to feel sage.  We must invest in what works; community building and significant resource support,” Ward 5 Democratic Council Candidate Faith Gibson Hubbard noted.

There are some who contend the current uptick in violent fatalities are political.

“Washington, D.C. on Monday recorded its 200th homicide this year.  This is the highest murder rate in almost 20 years,” said one Twitter user.  “Can we stop this experiment now and admit that Democrat policies lead to catastrophes and Democrats should NEVER be in charge of anything.”

At-large Council member White, who is also running for D.C. Mayor, said that the violence challenges in the District are part of a larger public health concern that needs to be addressed.

“We must fully commit to treating violence like the public health crisis that it is.  We need a holistic strategy, which includes refocusing police resources on public safety, pairing police with fully-resourced violence interrupters, and addressing the root cause of violence,” White added.

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Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor