Skip to comments."Police presence has no effect on murder rate"
Posted on 10/23/2002 7:32:06 AM PDT by alisasny
Police presence has no effect on murder rate 22 'traditional' slayings since first sniper attack
Jan Cienski National Post
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
WASHINGTON - This is a city used to death, a place that is routinely ranked as one of the 10 most violent places in the United States, and although the growing toll of sniper killings has consumed all the media's attention, the murder rate in the area has not budged from its usual high levels.
According to Washington police, there have been 22 murders that have nothing to do with the sniper since Oct. 2, when he claimed his first victim.
While the shooter lay in wait for a victim outside a Ponderosa restaurant in Ashland, Va., south of the U.S. capital on Saturday, it was an unusually bloody day on the streets of Washington, where police were investigating three separate killings.
One man was found shot several times in the head not far from the Mall, the city's ceremonial heart, and just a few blocks from police headquarters. Another was shot to death at a gas station and his killer escaped on a bicycle. Yet another man, Thomas Daniels, 21, was found after his car smashed into a guardrail in the crime-ridden Northeast section of the city. He had been shot.
In contrast with the US$500,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the sniper, the rewards in what are now being called "traditional homicides" were a much more modest US$10,000.
Quintin Peterson, a police department spokesman, said the murder rate for 2002 was slightly higher than last year, when 233 people died. He also said the massive police response to the sniper shootings, including roadblocks and helicopters, had done nothing to deter other killers.
"You could put a cop on every corner of every city and if someone wanted to kill someone they would do it," he said.
He insisted the city's police, not known to be particularly effective crime solvers, were devoting the normal amount of resources to the non-sniper killings.
What is also normal about the traditional homicides is that they mostly take place in the 75% of Washington that is black and poor. This is also the case for Prince George's County, Md., northeast of the city, which has one of the highest murder rates in Maryland, mainly because drug and gang violence spills out from adjoining down-and-out regions of the city.
The white and wealthy northwest quadrant of Washington is much calmer, as are the comfortable leafy suburbs of Montgomery County to the north and the rich and well-policed counties of northern Virginia, where any murder is a front-page story.
And those are exactly the areas where the sniper has concentrated his murderous rampage.
In 2000, there were only 32 murders in northern Virginia. So far this year the sniper has killed three people there, 10% of the normal yearly total.
Montgomery County, which last year had 19 murders, has been the site of five confirmed sniper killings in addition to yesterday's fatal shooting of bus driver Conrad Johnson.
"Our homicide rate has gone up 25% in one day," Charles Moose, the county's police chief, said after the first rash of killings.
The only victim in the city was 72-year-old Pascal Charlot, shot while standing on a corner across the street from the Maryland state line.
Wonder why? Wouldn't expect the majority of murders to occur 75% of the area, now would we? This statement reveals something about the author. If he stated the percentage of murders that occur in 75% of the area, that would be a different statement. I don't know what these statistics would be, but suspect I know what the author wants me to assume by omitting them.
Besides, any truthful reporting about police and crime deterrence undermines support for the gun prohibition agendas that all the major media outlets (except possibly Fox) either openly or tacitly endorse. Not to mention the Clinton-era call for de facto federal control of all police jurisdictions through the "100,000 more cops on the street" initiative (from the same bill that, significantly, also enacted the "assault weapon ban"), which boils down to a backdoor way of federally controlling local police and sheriff's departments by the power of the purse (in the same way that federal highway money is used to extort states into falling in line on drinking ages and several other issues).
See the numerous interminable threads in this forum and elsewhere on the net going back to the USENET days debating gun prohibition versus the natural and constitutionally-protected right to defending one's life. When the Bill of Rights was drafted, much of the debate centered on whether such a right, which was considered so fundamental that many opponents of the 2nd Amendment opposed including it in the Constitution because they worried it might be construed to restrict gun ownership rights. How prescient of them.
In reality, the "anti-gun" agenda is being pushed by a powerful and varied, loosely-confederated collection of political power groups and strange bedfellows that extend their tendrils through this and many other human rights issues. Driven by motives ranging from sincerity to self-interest (i.e., money and power), their common goal is a "better society" through more centralized federal control of the "masses".
You know, like the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, ad nauseum.
Granted, this rant is rather tangential to the thread, on its surface. But I maintain that it's more applicable than it might appear at first blush.
Gasp! How could this be? I thought they banned guns in DC...
1) Prosecute criminals and throw them in jail.
2) Execute murderers.
3) Arm the population.
Besides, any truthful reporting about police and crime deterrence undermines support for the gun prohibition agendas that all the major media outlets (except possibly Fox) either openly or tacitly endorse.
An unintended consequence the gun-controllers can't out run -- that the police can protect the citizens thus citizens don't need guns...
"You could put a cop on every corner of every city and if someone wanted to kill someone they would do it," he [Quintin Peterson, a police department spokesman] said.
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