A suspect who recently turned 18 years old, let's call him M.A.R. to protect his privacy, is suspected of robbing 20 DC residents, coming up behind them, knocking them to the ground, taking their I-pods, cell phones, money. On robbery No. 21, the suspect is yet again taken into custody. The police, who have to their credit managed to catch this guy, are worried that he'll be let out onto the street and will instantly rob again. You see, he's been taken into custody before and released back into the community before.
Well, MPD Inspector Delgado takes community policing seriously and he's concerned, so he sends out an e-mail to the Third District listserve urging residents to e-mail our now official Attorney General Peter Nickles to beg him not to release this guy again. (Full text of e-mail following this post)
Nickles' reaction, to paraphrase, is "Stop e-mailing me! It's annoying and not helpful." An exact quote to the Washington Post, "I haven't touched them. I told my secretary to put them in a pile." Anyway, he must have thought, we have the guy in custody and he's not going anywhere anyway. Right? Right? So Nickles picks up the phone the next morning. Wrong. Oops, the prosecutors let him go. "No papered" - apparently there was not enough evidence, despite video footage, and the U.S. Marshals missed missed the memo to hold him.
So what do we learn from this situation? Number 1. I'm tired of having prosecutors and marshals who are FEDERAL employees. These folks are accountable to no one. They work for the U.S. DOJ and they are theoretically overseen by Congress. I bet if we had an elected attorney general, who had full prosecutorial power, we would not have this B.S. You know he would get voted out in a New-York minute for this continuous arrest-and-release law enforcement. You can envision the campaign ad. Same goes for our judges. They ought to be appointed by the Mayor with the consent of the DC Council, not appointed for a 15-year term by the president. These officials come from all over the country -- many are not from DC and they are likely to live in Maryland or Virginia. Perhaps they'd think twice if they took this kid into custody and he was let out for #22 on their street.
Seriously, enough. And I don't care what mental health or other problems this guy had that a court found him incompetent to stand trial. And there's lots of others who don't want to hear lame excuses for and defenses of the alleged criminal when a score of people have been beat over the head. The answer is to put him someplace secure where he can get help, not put him out there to rob again.
Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:39 am
Good Morning Neighbors
I write this email to inform you that the Third District made yet another arrest for robbery, however the circumstances surrounding this latest robbery you will find upsetting. The facts are reported as reported below:
In the earlier this year the Columbia Heights neighborhood experienced a rash of violent robberies. This particular suspect approaches people from behind and hits his victims. Once the victim is down, stolen are cell phones, money and IPODS. The suspect was also identified as committing six (6) robberies within the METRO Rail System. Once this suspect was developed as a viable suspect in the METRO robberies, DC Police began to look at the suspect on several robberies as well. The suspect was was subsequently identified in thirteen (13) robberies in Columbia Heights. The suspect, who was a juvenile, was released from jail because he was found to be incompetent to stand trial.
The suspect was released back into the Columbia Heights Community where he committed another 6 robberies. The total number of robberies at that time stood at nine teen (19) robberies. Well the suspect was released back into the community and was placed in a halfway house where he absconded and came back to the Columbia Heights neighborhood. Well, I was never notified that he was released or even absconded from the group home. Recently, he committed yet another robbery, this time within the grounds of Cardozo High School. This is a total of twenty (20) robberies that this suspect has committed and I am concerned that if this person released again he may commit more robberies or worse harm one of you. I find this lack of accountability by the juvenile justice system to be a travesty and a disservice to the community.
Please view the enclosed OAG Organizational Chart and I ask that each of you write an email or letter to the Attorney General Peter Nickels and every supervisor, manager, and attorney under the “PUBLIC SAFETY CLUSTER”
Please remember that the email address is the First Name then a dot then the last name @ DC. Gov.
I expect each of you to flood the email system today because time is critical in this matter. Let them not release this criminal yet again into the community. You can refer to this juvenile as M.A.R., they will know whom you are talking about. I also ask you to forward this email to which ever person you think will assist in this matter. Remember flood the system….
Third District Sub Station