Crime is so bad in DC that a congressman was carjacked


Important Takeaways:

  • Texas congressman is the victim of an armed carjacking in Washington, D.C.
  • Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, was carjacked Monday night about a mile from the Capitol.
  • His chief of staff confirmed the incident in a statement and said he was not injured.
  • “As Congressman Cuellar was parking his car this evening, 3 armed assailants approached the Congressman and stole his vehicle. Luckily, he was not harmed and is working with local law enforcement. Thank you to Metro PD and Capitol Police for their swift action and for recovering the Congressman’s vehicle,” the statement said.
  • Washington Metropolitan Police said an armed carjacking was reported at about 9:32 p.m. in the Navy Yard neighborhood of Southeast Washington. No information about the victim was immediately provided.

Read the original article by clicking here.

In D.C. minors are increasingly entangled in crime wave


Important Takeaways:

  • Homicides Up 29% in Bowser’s D.C.
  • Homicides in Democrat-dominated Washington D.C. are up by 29 percent compared to this time last year, with annual murders on course to hit their highest total in 20 years.
  • There has been an even sharper 67 percent rise in robberies, and minors are increasingly entangled in the crime wave as both perpetrators and victims. Forty-one youths aged 12 to 15 had been arrested for carjackings and 81 under-18s had been shot as of the end of August – up from 61 over the same time frame in 2022 and 37 in 2021.

Read the original article by clicking here.

Random violent acts sweeping the DC area: “like a wicked spirit is out there”

Important Takeaways:

  • A shaken Washington copes with surging violence: ‘This is not normal’
  • Violent crime has long been a part of Washington life, the worst of it during the early 1990s when drug trafficking propelled the annual homicide toll to nearly 500 and D.C. earned an inglorious reputation as America’s “Murder Capital.”
  • “It’s worse in some ways, like a wicked spirit is out there,” said Ronald Moten,
  • “You used to not have to worry about crime unless you were associated with the streets, with drug dealing. Now you could just be going down the street, going to the car and you can be killed.”
  • The randomness is reflected in statistics showing sharp increases in crime
  • It is not just gun violence that causes anxiety. There are the ubiquitous “porch pirates” stealing packages from doorsteps and thieves smashing car windows that add to a sense of lawlessness. A Giant Food market in Southeast announced last week that it would no longer keep brands like Advil and Tide on shelves to discourage shoplifters.
  • ‘There seems to be no consequences’
  • The spike in felonies — homicides and robberies are up 29 and 67 percent from the same time period last year, police statistics show — is not the only data that is causing alarm. The number of juveniles arrested for carjacking has increased slightly since last year, with 41 of the 64 charged between the ages of 12 and 15. As of Aug. 31, a total of 81 minors had been shot in the city this year, compared with 66 over the same span last year and 37 in 2021.

Read the original article by clicking here.

The People’s Convoy Makes its Way to DC

Proverbs 25:19 “Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Engines Are Roaring as ‘The People’s Convoy’ Heads to Washington, D.C.
  • Thousands of truckers are heading to Washington, D.C.
  • They’re calling it “The People’s Convoy.”
  • “What we’re looking for is to end the emergency declaration—to end the mandates on the vaccine and the mask mandates, especially for our health care workers, our law enforcement officers, our federal employees and of course, our military personnel,” said Ohio truck driver Brian Brase.
  • Police in the capitol are preparing for major traffic disruptions this week, much like those in Canada following a month of protests.
  • Security around the Capitol is ramping up, with 800 National Guard troops expected to be deployed ahead of March 1.

Read the original article by clicking here.

TSA bolsters airport security ahead of pro-Trump rally at U.S. Capitol

By David Shepardson and Jan Wolfe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Travelers arriving at the airport nearest Washington, D.C., will face increased security in the run-up to a planned Saturday rally supporting people charged with taking part in the deadly Jan. 6 riot, the Transportation Security Administration said.

“Travelers will notice increased law enforcement and canine presence along with a generally higher level of awareness in TSA’s intelligence-driven, risk-based approach to transportation security,” a TSA spokesperson told Reuters, referring to Reagan National Airport, in Virginia just across the Potomac River.

Hundreds of far-right demonstrators are expected in the District of Columbia for the “Justice For J6” rally, a reference to the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump in an attempt to stop certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory.

Trump has continued his false claims that his defeat was the result of widespread election fraud, an assertion that was rejected by multiple courts, state election authorities and members of his own administration.

The pro-Trump group organizing the Sept. 18 rally, Look Ahead America, has alleged that the more than 600 people facing criminal charges over the Jan. 6 riots have been mistreated and singled out because of their political views.

Police have ramped up security around the Capitol in response, mindful of the scenes that played out early this year when rioters attacked police, smashed through windows into the building and sent lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence running for safety.

A fence that was put up around the Capitol following that day, which had been taken down in July, was being reassembled in place around the white-domed building on Thursday.

The fencing separated the lawns of the Capitol grounds from other government landmarks including the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, congressional office buildings and the Capitol Reflecting Pool just west of Capitol Hill, where protesters were scheduled to gather on Saturday.

There were few other signs of beefed-up security, though plexiglass police shields could be seen stacked at police checkpoints inside doorways to the Capitol building.

Four people died on Jan. 6, one fatally shot by police and three from medical emergencies. A Capitol Police officer who had been attacked by protesters died the following day. Four police officers who took part in the defense of the Capitol later committed suicide.

The U.S. Capitol Police on Wednesday said it has asked the Pentagon to provide National Guard troops if they are needed to help with security.

Trump referred to the upcoming protest in a statement on Thursday, saying, “Our hearts and minds are with the people being persecuted so unfairly relating to the January 6th protest concerning the Rigged Presidential Election.”

Police and congressional leaders said they are prepared for Saturday’s protest, which will come at a time that most members of Congress will be out of town.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, participating at a forum in Britain on Thursday, said, “They have their plans. Everybody will be more ready for them.”

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Jan Wolfe; Additional reporting by David Morgan and Richard Cowan; Editing by Scott Malone and Alistair Bell)

U.S. capital city issues sweeping mask requirement

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Masks will be required indoors in Washington, D.C., for everyone 2 years and older starting Saturday, Mayor Muriel Bowser said on Thursday, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

The mandate will put the nation’s capital in line with updated guidance that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released this week in an effort to contain the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Many federal government institutions in Washington and its suburbs have already implemented similar mask requirements and President Joe Biden is expected to announce additional measures for the federal workforce later on Thursday.

In addition, the Smithsonian said it would reimpose mask requirements at its museums that line the National Mall and other indoor venues for visitors 2 years and older beginning on Friday “regardless of vaccination status.” Face coverings may be removed while eating or drinking in designated areas, it said in a statement on Thursday.

By the beginning of July, Washington had hit its lowest rate of community spread of COVID-19 since the global pandemic began a year and a half ago. Over the course of the month, the daily case rate has increased fivefold, at the same time that the test positivity rate rose, LaQuandra Nesbitt, director of the city’s health department, said at a public briefing before Bowser announced the new mandate.

Current estimates indicate more than half the city’s residents have been fully vaccinated, according to public health agency data.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

U.S. House passes bill to make Washington, D.C., the 51st state

By Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday narrowly voted, for the second time in less than a year, to make the District of Columbia the 51st state, sending it to the Senate where it faces stiff Republican opposition.

By a vote of 216-208, the Democratic-controlled House approved the initiative with no Republican support.

The population of Washington, D.C. is heavily Democratic. As a state, it likely would elect two Democratic senators, potentially altering the balance of power in the Senate, which now has 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans.

Democrats, who have been advocating statehood for the capital of the United States for decades, hope to take advantage of last November’s election of President Joe Biden as well as control of the Senate and House to admit a new state for the first time since 1959, the year Alaska and Hawaii joined the union.

Democrats argued statehood would fix a centuries-old wrong of “more than 700,000 Americans citizens who pay federal taxes, who fight and die in wars, who serve on our juries and yet have no vote in the Senate or the House of Representatives,” said Democratic Representative Jan Schakowsky. “That is the definition of taxation without representation.”

The new state would be named “Washington, Douglass Commonwealth” after George Washington, the first U.S. president, and Frederick Douglass, a former enslaved person who became a famous abolitionist.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Scott Malone, Grant McCool and Chizu Nomiyama)

U.S. cities sue ATF over untraceable ‘ghost guns’

By Brad Brooks

(Reuters) – Chicago and three other cities on Wednesday sued the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), demanding it correct how it interprets what is a firearm and halt the sale of untraceable “ghost gun” kits increasingly used in crimes.

The lawsuit is the first of its kind filed against the ATF, according to lawyers for the cities of Chicago, San Jose, Columbia, South Carolina, and Syracuse, New York. It was filed in the Southern District of New York state.

So-called “ghost gun” or “80% gun” kits are self-assembled from parts purchased online or at gun shows. The parts that are assembled are not classified as a firearm by the ATF. For that reason they can be legally sold with no background checks and without serial numbers to identify the finished product.

The lawsuit argues the ATF and the Department of Justice “refuse to apply the clear terms of the Gun Control Act” which the suit says defines regulated firearms as not only working weapons “but also their core building blocks – frames for pistols, and receivers for long guns.”

The ATF says on its website that receivers in which the fire-control cavities are solid “have not reached the ‘stage of manufacture’ which would result in the classification of a firearm.”

The ATF said in an emailed statement that its “regulatory and enforcement functions are focused and clearly defined by laws.” The bureau emphasized that it investigates criminal possession and other criminal use of privately made firearms.

Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group that is a plaintiff in the lawsuit along with the cities, argues that until about 2006, the ATF did require unfinished components that clearly were going to be used to make guns to carry a serial number and anyone buying them undergo a background check.

“The ATF used to interpret the Gun Control Act the right way – they would look at how quickly a frame or receiver could be converted into an operable weapon,” said Eric Tirschwell, managing director for the litigation arm of Everytown. “If it was pretty quickly, they would say ‘yeah, that’s a firearm.'”


It’s unknown how many ghost guns are in circulation, but law enforcement agencies are unanimous in saying numbers are undeniably growing. Police in Washington D.C. last year recovered over 100 ghost guns – a 342% increase over 2018. They are already on pace this year to double the number found.

The ATF has said upward of 30% of the illegal weapons it has confiscated in some areas of California are ghost guns.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, whose city has been beset by gun violence, demanded the ATF close the ghost gun loophole and regulate the sale of gun parts that are marketed to easily be used to build guns.

“Individuals with dangerous histories shouldn’t be able to order lethal weapons on the internet with a few quick clicks,” Lightfoot said.

But Rick Vasquez, a Virginia-based firearms consultant and former ATF technical expert who evaluated guns and gun products to help the bureau determine if they were legal, said anyone wanting to address the proliferation of kit guns should pass new laws in Congress.

The continued rapid advancement of tools and technology widely available to the public meant it was getting to the point where even rudimentary “chunks of metal” can be turned into firearms, Vasquez said.

“How do you regulate that? The ATF can’t do it. This situation is uncontrollable because of technology, and I’m not sure what anyone can do about it.”

(Reporting by Brad Brooks in Lubbock, Texas; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

Three more states, D.C. and Puerto Rico added to New York’s COVID-19 travel advisory

(Reuters) – Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday ordered those arriving in New York from an additional three states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico to quarantine for 14 days to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The states of Illinois, Kentucky and Minnesota were added to the travel order which was first issued in June. The District of Columbia and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico were also added.

Travelers arriving in New York from a total of 34 states are now required to quarantine, Cuomo said.

(Reporting by Maria Caspani, Editing by Franklin Paul)

Protesters fail to bring down Andrew Jackson statue near White House

By Tom Brenner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Protesters tried tearing down a statue of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, in a park near the White House on Monday, scrawling “killer scum” on its pedestal and pulling on the monument with ropes before police intervened.

The confrontation unfolded in Lafayette Square, where crowds peacefully protesting the death of George Floyd under the knee of a police officer were forcibly displaced three weeks ago to make way for staged photos of President Trump holding up a bible in front of a nearby church.

The thwarted effort to topple the famed bronze likeness of Jackson astride a rearing horse was the latest bid, in protests fuelled by Floyd’s death, to destroy monuments of historical figures considered racist or divisive.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter saying that many people were arrested for the “disgraceful vandalism” in Lafayette Park and also for defacing the exterior of St. John’s Church.

“Ten years in prison under the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act. Beware!” he warned.

Monday’s incident began around dusk with scores of protesters, most wearing masks against coronavirus infection, breaking through a 6-foot-tall fence erected in recent days around the statute at the center of the park.

Protesters then climbed onto the monument, fastening ropes and cords around the sculpted heads of both Jackson and his horse and dousing the marble pedestal with yellow paint before the crowd began trying to yank the statute from its base.

Dozens of law enforcement officers, led by U.S. Park Police, stormed into the square, swinging batons and firing chemical agents to scatter protesters. By dark, police had taken control and outnumbered demonstrators in the immediate area.

Jackson, a former U.S. Army general nicknamed “Old Hickory,” served two terms in the White House, from 1829 to 1837, espousing a populist political style that has sometimes been compared with that of Trump.

Native American activists have long criticized Jackson, a Democrat, for signing the 1830 Indian Removal Act, which led to thousands of Native Americans being driven from their lands by the U.S. government and forced to march west, in what became known as the “Trail of Tears.” Many perished before arriving.

(Reporting by Tom Brenner in Washington; Additional reporting by Whitcomb in Los Angeles and Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Gerry Doyle and Clarence Fernandez)