|Chief Lanier listens to her introduction|
Lanier announced there had been two arrests the previous evening in a stun gun robbery in Petworth. There have recently been a series of stun gun robberies in DC, including one in Logan Circle. Chief Lanier told the Washington Post the MPD did not know if the Petworth incident is tied to the other stun gun robberies.
Lanier reminded the audience that crime was down dramatically in the area, which was why the stun gun robberies got police attention.
There was little indication of progress on two other recent shooting incidents in the Logan Circle area. This was in spite of reported email assurances from the MPD more than ten days ago that the police "know who did this" and "were looking to make an arrest".
Lanier said the person shot during the September 12 incident on 14th Street was not cooperating with the police, which was making the investigation difficult. She also said there was a lot of misinformation "out there" about the shootings and there was "nothing to support these theories".
During a question-and-answer session, a pastor of the Asbury Methodist Church (11th and K Streets) asked about prostitution and human trafficking in the neighborhood. In the subsequent discussion, it was said that prostitution seemed based on Internet advertising was now more common, as opposed to solicitation on the streets. Potential johns made appointments online and then met on street corners. The intersections of 5th and K, 12th and I, and 12th and M Streets were noted as frequently-used meeting spots.
An attendee from the 1400 block of R Street reported there was a lot of drug dealing and drinking on his block, and his car had been broken into twice this year. This is thought to be the work of a small group of juveniles. Some of these don't live in the neighborhood, but have friends who do. Others live in the neighborhood, so the police cannot use a "stay away order".
Another attendee from 13th and R complained that "follow through is lacking" in the case of the Logan Circle shootings. One witness saw the car and the shooter but was never interviewed by the MPD. Another woman, whose car windshield had been shattered by gunfire in the incident, had been asked three questions by the police, after which she had heard nothing.
Over 80 community members came to hear Lanier speak and listen to questions for about 40 minutes. All the seats were filled and people had to stand.
Lanier was introduced at the meeting by DC City Councilmember for Ward Two Jack Evans. Remarks by Evans to the meeting are the subject of a separate blog post.