Testimony of John Aravosis
Thank you for having me here today to discuss Chief Ramsey's job
I came to discuss Chief Ramsey's record, but now realize that there's
really nothing to discuss, as we have no idea what Chief Ramsey's record
is. The story just keeps changing.
We could talk about crime statistics.
But every time we get any data out of Chief Ramsey, he changes it on
us. Yesterday the FBI released new crime data showing a horrifying jump in
crime in the District. Rapes went up 50% and murders 14%. Chief Ramsey's
response? He says he gave the FBI the wrong data.
So never mind.
We could talk about DC's abysmal 911 telephone service.
How three people have died recently as their loved ones allegedly tried
to call 911 to no avail. How the number of people who call 911 and give up
because no one answers has risen from 13% when Chief Ramsey was
hired to 20% today.
But Chief Ramsey has changed his testimony about 911 so many
times that now we don't know what to believe. Were half the 911 operators
ignoring their phone lines while a young man burned to death Dupont Circle
last January? First Chief Ramsey said no, then he said maybe, now he says
yes, but an independent investigation says the Chief s investigation may
have been so botched that we may never know.
So never mind.
How about the Chief Ramsey's record on civil rights.
An internal police department report found last January that hundreds
of antiglobalization protesters were arrested under trumped up charges
last year. But just last week, Chief Ramsey denied the entire affair in
the Washington Post, flat-out contradicting his own internal report.
Unfortunately, Chief Ramsey won't release the report publicly, so we
have no way to know if he lied last week about the illegal arrests of
hundreds of American citizens.
So never mind.
And the list goes on.
Is DC again the murder capital? Did rapes increase by a whopping 50%
last year? Is violent crime up 6% since Chief Ramsey was hired? Has Chief
Ramsey failed to meet his own performance goals for violent crime three
years in a row now? And has Chief Ramsey repeatedly lied to the city
council and the DC public about matters affecting our public safety?
The only thing we can be sure of at today's hearing is that if you hear
something you don't like, give Chief Ramsey a few hours and a microphone
and you're guaranteed his story will change.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 17, 2003
Contact: John Aravosis, co-founder, SafeStreetsDC.com
John@SafeStreetsDC.com - cell 202-262-9302
NEW FBI DATA: DC CRIME UP IN 2002
DC Confirmed as "Murder Capital," FBI Data Shows
Washington; DC - New nationwide crime data released yesterday by the
FBI showed an increase in overall crime in Washington, DC in 2002, and
confirmed that the District was the per-capita "Murder Capital"
last year, according to an analysis conducted by. SafeStreetsDC.com, a
public safety watchdog.
Violent Crime Up, MPD Fails to Meet Goal, Third Year in a Row
data showed a nearly 1% increase in overall crime last year in the
District, it showed a 3.7% increase in DC's violent crime rate. This was
the third year in a row that violent crime increased in the District (2000
saw a 2.1% increase, 2001 a 6.6% increase, and 2002 a 3.7% increase). And
since 1998, the year DC Police Chief Charles Ramsey was hired, total
violent crime in DC has increased 6.0%.
2002 was also the third year in a row that the MPD fell short of the
Mayor's performance goal for decreasing violent crime. The goal was a 5%
decrease in 2000, a 2% decrease in 2001, and a 2% decrease in 2002.
Violent Crime: MPD's Goal vs. Reality
|MPD annual goal for
decreasing violent crime
|Actual % change in DC
|| +6. 6%
DC Crime Up in 6 of 8 Categories
DC saw an increase in six of the eight crime categories monitored by
the FBI for 2002, including 5% increases each in aggravated assaults,
burglaries and arsons, a 14% increase in murders, a 15% increase in auto
thefts, and a whopping 50% increase in forcible rapes. The only categories
seeing a decrease were a 1.2% drop in robberies, and a 6% drop in
% Change in Crime 2001-2002
|| US Avg.
Crime Up in DC, Crime Down Nationwide
The FBI data showed that DC's multi-year rise in overall crime and
violent crime can not be solely attributed to national trends such as the
economy, or unique burdens such as the cost of heightened-security.
Last year, overall crime decreased 0.2% nationwide, while in DC it
increased 0.9%. In 2001, overall crime increased 2.1% nationwide, while in
DC it increased 6.6%. The same disparity between national and DC trends
occurs with violent crime. Last year, violent crime decreased 1.4%
nationwide, while in DC it increased 3.7%. In 2001, violent crime
increased 0.8% nationwide, while in DC it increased 6.6%.
Interestingly, New York City, which faces similar heightened-security
concerns as Washington, DC, showed a 4.5% drop in overall crime last year,
and a 4.8% drop in violent crime during the same period.
DC Violent Crime vs. National Trends
Change in Violent Crime DC
Change in Violent Crime US
Interestingly, even the last time violent crime decreased in DC - 1999,
when violent crime in the District dropped 6% - the rest of the country
saw an even greater decrease in violent crime, 6.7%. This suggests that
DC's crime-fighting fell short even during a year that at first blush
DC Now Third-Highest Violent Crime in US
The result of the disparity in violent crime between DC and other
cities is that according to the new FBI data, in 2002 DC had the
third-highest violent crime rate for cities with populations over 500,000
(Baltimore was ranked number 1, closely followed by Detroit). This is a
worsening from 2001, when DC had the fourth-highest violent crime rate for
DC Again Nation's "Murder Capital"
The FBI data confirmed SafeStreetsDC.com's analysis earlier this year
that DC is again the nation's per capita "Murder Capital" for
cities with over 500,000 residents (the same standard used when DC
previously held that title).