D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier yesterday suspended the checkpoint program that screened people driving into the troubled Trinidad neighborhood, acting after a night that left eight people shot at six locations elsewhere in the city.
Officials have not ruled out setting up checkpoints in Trinidad and other areas in the future, but there are no immediate plans to do so, authorities said.
None of the violence took place in the 5th Police District, the section of Northeast Washington where police have stepped up enforcement after recent killings. Police began operating a checkpoint Saturday night on Montello Avenue NE, and it was up and running Wednesday, its last day in operation.
All the victims survived. They included three men, hit in a drive-by shooting; a woman, shot in the back; and an 11-year-old, grazed in the wrist when he and friends allegedly played with a gun, police said. In the other cases, a man was shot during a confrontation with police, a woman was wounded when she and a friend were attacked by a group of assailants and a man was shot leaving a carry-out restaurant.
Police said the shootings are not related. No one has been arrested in any of the cases.
Well, I guess you should close down all of D.C. and run everyone’s papers.
The program, in which all drivers must justify their purpose for being in a targeted area, has been criticized by civil rights groups, D.C. council members and residents who said police are overstepping their power.
“As crime occurs elsewhere in this city, they’re going to have to go back to community policing,” said council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), who is holding a hearing Monday on the initiative.
“Checkpoints aren’t going to stop crime,” Mendelson said.