Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B will host a virtual town hall meeting on Tuesday, October 19th at 7:00 p.m.
The meeting comes after three people were killed on the Hill over an eleven-day period. On Wednesday, Oct. 6, 26-year-old Aaron Wiggins was shot on the field at Watkins Elementary School after what police described as an argument during a football game. Two days later, 23-year-old Giovanni Lovelace was killed on the 1700 block of Independence Avenue; three other people were injured in the same shooting. On Saturday, Oct. 16, 27 year-old Devante Waters was shot on the street in front of Watkins Elementary; he later died in hospital.
At the Oct. 13th meeting of ANC 6C, First District Commander Ralph McLean updated commissioners on the Oct. 6 and Oct. 8 murders.
In regard to the latter, McLean said that police know the shooting on the 1700 block of Independence was targeted at the person who was killed. “But we don’t know why yet, and we don’t have any clue if there’s any kind of feud or anything going on,” McLean said.
The Commander said officers were near to an arrest in the Oct. 6 murder on Watkins field. The suspect is believed to have been a member of one of the football teams, he said. Given that witnesses were not willing to talk, he said that officers would go through the team rosters and eliminate people on the list one by one.
Public Safety Meeting Controversial
ANC 6B scheduled a meeting to discuss the increase in crime over the past three months. After Commissioner Denise Krepp (6B10) tweeted a list of the panelists, people responded to say that they felt the program was not balanced or representative of community voices and asked for representation from organizations not affiliated with the police.
Yeah, I can see why. Do you really think this is a balanced program or represents community voices?
— GoreforANC3/4G01 (@GoreforANC34G01) October 17, 2021
In response to a tweeted list of panelists, DC Black Lives Matter tweeted that the panel did not include “a single directly impacted person.”
Some community members, including several commissioners, objected to the participation of DC Police Union Chairman Gregg Pemberton. According to a Huffpost report, Pemberton has been questioned in court about tweets he made from a now deactivated Twitter account that were critical of Black Lives Matter and allegedly characterized protesters as “leftist goons.”
After Krepp tweeted about the disagreement, Commissioner Corey Holman responded. “I urged our chair, who took unilateral control of this meeting, to not invite any organizations who engage in political activity.”
Pemberton was later removed from the ANC panel.
We are on the same team here. Public safety. This isn’t about scoring points or grandstanding
I urged our chair, who took unilateral control of this meeting, to not invite any organizations who engage in political activity. Both the DC Police Union and 501c4s and others
— Corey Holman (@coreyholman) October 18, 2021
Late Tuesday evening, ANC 6B Chair Brian Ready announced that the panel will be limited to government officials only.
“With [Saturday] night’s incident being top of mind for residents, advocacy groups would be a distraction,” Ready wrote in an email to constituents. “I want residents to be able to ask questions and hear from their government agencies responsible for the communities’ safety.”
Ready said there would be a broader conversation about crime and safety with advocacy groups at later dates.
As of Sunday night, Ready provided this list of Panelists:
- Councilmember Charles Allen
- A representative from Chris Geldart’s Office the Deputy Mayor of Public Safety
- A representative from Metro Police Department
- A representative from the Office Youth Rehabilitation Services
- A representative from Karl Racine’s Office of the A General
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwtcequrT8vE9UqmtekzAUuq71L8uwyxLgkAfter registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.