DC Police Chief Blames Lax City Officials After Shootings

Dr. Munr Kazmir
4 min readJul 25, 2021

After the recent “shootout” outside Nationals Stadium during a home game, locals, including DC Police Chief Robert Contee, are demanding action.

Washington D.C. Jan. 18, 2021. — Washington D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee speaks with Chief Deputy Lamont Ruffin from D.C. District Court just before swearing in 1657 law enforcement officers from across the country as Special Deputy U.S. Marshals prior to the presidential inauguration. Mass swearing ins like this take place before every presidential inauguration to increase the law enforcement presence in the capital for the safety of all involved as well as spectators. (Photo by Shane T. McCoy / US Marshals Office of Public Affairs)

“People are really mad as hell right now, and I don’t blame them, because I am too. That’s the reality,” D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said during an emotional press conference Friday. “I think people are sick and tired of being sick and tired. I think that people want to ensure that there is accountability for what’s happening in our communities.”

“I’ve been in this city for 30 years. This is the same movie when I was a boy growing up here,” Chief Contee continued, referring to another time rising crime was threatening the city. “When are we going to do something different? … What does not happen here is accountability? People are not ready to have that conversation. ”

Chief Contee described the current state of the D.C. criminal justice system as “malfunctioning” and accused city leaders of failing to hold violent offenders accountable for hurting people.

“When I start talking about accountability, people start talking mass incarceration. I’m not talking about mass incarceration. I’m talking about holding people accountable who make our communities unsafe,” Contee told reporters.

While many Democrats, including President Joe Biden, have made a point to distance themselves from the movement to defund the police, a defunding of police departments is happening already in some major metropolitan areas heavily controlled by Democrats.

The district of Washington D.C. is one such place where progressive efforts to defund police departments coupled with other measures have restricted the number of officers on duty at any given time. Related or not, a chronic shortage of qualified officers has coincided with a sharp rise in crime in D.C.

According to Chief Contee, the D.C. police force is short by over 200 officers compared to this time last year. D.C. law enforcement experts…