Monday, August 10, 2020

Forget it Jake, It's Washington D.C.

Gunfire breaks out at a mostly peaceful street party, 19 wounded, one dead. Stacy McCain, Probably Not Trump Voters: 20 Shot When Gunfight Breaks Out at D.C. Party
Dubois Place is a block-long street in an area of southeastern Washington, D.C., that is overwhelmingly black and, by “overwhelmingly black” I mean like Mogadishu, it’s so black. Despite the draconian COVID-19 policies imposed by the city’s mayor, some residents of the community decided to hold a massive block party Saturday night, which they advertised on social media, attracting hundreds of revelers. The risk of infection was exceeded by the risk of dying in a hail of bullets:
A 17-year-old was killed and an off-duty D.C. police officer suffered life-threatening injuries after authorities said at least 20 people were shot when a dispute broke out early Sunday at a cookout attended by hundreds of people in Southeast Washington.
D.C. police said at least three shooters opened fire from different locations about 12:30 a.m. on Dubois Place in the Greenway neighborhood, sending panicked partygoers racing for cover and others screaming for friends and relatives.
The dead teenager was identified as Christopher Brown.
“I really don’t understand how my child’s life is just gone,” said the victim’s mother, Artecka Brown, 33. She said she last spoke to her son two days ago when she hugged him and told him “I love you.”
The unidentified off-duty police officer, who apparently was at the party, was critically injured and was “fighting for her life,” D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said. Officials said the officer, who is 22 years old and has been on the force about one year, was struck in the neck.
Authorities said there was a dispute before shots were fired, and police said they think there were exchanges of gunfire. At least 11 of the victims were women. Police initially said 21 people had been shot but later determined one of the injured victims had not been struck by a bullet.
Videos posted on social media show revelers partying shoulder-to-shoulder near Dubois Place at 34th Street SE. After the shots, some victims fell while others scattered; the crime scene sprawled for blocks, with police marking 170 pieces of evidence. Police said nearly 100 bullets were fired.
The party and the tragedy that ensued revived questions about large gatherings that flout Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s order that prohibits groups larger than 50 people and requires those older than 2 to wear a mask when they leave home and are likely to come into contact with others. The mask requirement, one of the strictest in the nation, was toughened recently after cases began to spike.
Police are searching for the suspects, who were not wearing red MAGA hats. The mayor doesn’t allow public gatherings in her city, unless they’re rioters tearing down statues, or block partiers who start shooting each other after midnight. Like I said, it’s Mogadishu.
I spent a fair amount of time in southeast D.C. back when I was doing a lot of sampling on the Anacostia River. It wasn't Mogadishu then, and I doubt if it's Mogadishu now. It's not Rodeo Drive, though. I always felt safe enough, although some of my field assistants may have felt otherwise. Maybe the locals think it's bad juju to shoot a crazy white scientist wearing waders.

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