Homicides in the nation’s capital are on track to surmount last year’s 20-year high and, after a senseless murder linked to a grass clipping dispute, Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee pointed the blame exactly where you might think.
On Saturday June 25, 45-year-old landscaper Jason Ford, a husband and father of two, had departed a completed job site when he was fatally shot in the chest. According to NBC Washington, Ford had been supervising the yardwork of his crew in the Ward 5 neighborhood of Trinidad when grass clippings blew onto “a shiny, black car parked nearby.”
Ford’s wife, Tonya, spoke with NBC and lamented, “Somebody blowing grass on a car and him apologizing, we will no longer have him here because of that. No sense.”
It was reported that while Ford spoke with the angered driver and apologized, a friend of the driver showed up at the scene on a scooter, spoke with the driver and then left ahead of the landscaping crew.
When the workers left the job site, the victim was waiting at a light in his truck when the man in the scooter arrived and shot Ford, striking him in the chest.
On the day of the incident, DC Police tweeted in part, “Lookout for a black male with blue or green eyes a light color shirt, dark shorts and light color sneakers, on a green scooter southbound on West Virginia Ave NE.”
Alert: Shooting Investigation in the 1700 block of West Virginia Ave NE. Lookout for a black male with blue or green eyes a light color shirt, dark shorts and light color sneakers, on a green scooter southbound on West Virginia Ave NE.
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) June 25, 2022
First responders declared Ford dead at the scene and his wife reiterated, “This was not necessary. It did not have to happen like this. He apologized. We could have just moved on without this.”
Meanwhile, as this senseless tragedy marked another failure for the soft-on-crime policies in progressive cities, Contee blamed the gun itself.
“The guy shot … the driver of the landscaping truck because there was a gun introduced into the situation,” he told reporters Monday as he spoke on a series of crimes throughout the city. “That just blows my mind, the fact that we are, in our communities — we’re seeing so many firearms.”
The police chief and Mayor Muriel Bowser have continued to deflect that the manner in which they are addressing the problem along with the persistent demonization of law enforcement through the Defund the Police movement has led to this crisis of lawlessness.
Ford died just over one week ago and there have been no additional updates provided to the public on the suspect. Ward 5 is currently third for the most homicides in D.C. and nearly two-thirds of all homicides that have occurred in 2022 have remained open cases.
Here are the latest stats – from DC Open Data reconciled with MPD public releases. pic.twitter.com/aBF8QrHfHp
— Lindsay JC (@dchomicides) July 3, 2022
Only now, after weekends filled with shootings, have they begun to signal that something needs to be done to seriously address the rampant violence.
For too long, DC officials ignored the crime crisis. Then, the problem was compounded by a demonstrably wrongheaded "police reform" reaction to George Floyd's murder.
And now, this is where we're at, DC.
— Chuck Thies (@ChuckThies) July 1, 2022
Homicides are up around 14 percent from this time in 2021 where the city peaked over 200 killings, a tally that had not been reached in almost two decades. However, the language of “gun violence” still fails to address criminality as the problem which requires a better prepared and equipped police force to combat.
Contee had previously stated, “I think there’s a theme that you see here. Illegal firearms in the hands of people who should not have them,” and Bowser railed that “We need some accountability here.” Neither seem to acknowledge their roles in leadership are to tackle these problems.
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