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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Gory Prince George's: 3 more murders

(Posted 12 Dec 2006; summary & statistics)


Despite County Executive Jack Johnson's recent and pre-election claims that he has reduced violent crime, and similar claims made two days ago by Police Chief Melvin High and published in today's Gazette (Berger), the county murder rate continues to climb--now at 123 by my count. The body count is approaching the 128 killed in 2003, Johnson's first full year in office, and has already passed the annual average of 110 during the administration of his predecessor, Wayne Curry.

Johnson and High were generally silent as the violent crime rate increased. They did not step forward to take the blame or even acknowledge the problem until the growing crime rate reached record levels and threatened Johnson's re-election. Why does the press, and especially the Gazette, now uncritically allow them to get away with taking credit for a "reduction" that still leaves us with more murders than when they took office?

In my opinion, Johnson will be entitled to claim he is reducing violent crime only when the average during his tenure drops below the average during Curry's eight years in office. Until then (if it ever happens), and despite all the hot air, Johnson will remain the County Executive with the worst violent crime rate in the county's history.

Lisa Laverne (22) and Labria Fogle (9 months) Brown, 22.
James Raymond Stokes, 19

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