Cops Reassure Residents on Shootings at Capitol Quarter Community Center

MPD First District Commander Morgan Kane addresses PSA 106 last night. Officials standing to the right are DC Housing Authority Police Lt. Bentley and MPD Lt. Crystal Beslow.

Cops Reassure Residents on Shootings at Capitol Quarter Community Center

by Larry Janezich

At a regularly scheduled Police Service Area 106 community meeting last night, MPD First District Commander Morgan Kane reassured the 40 plus residents that she doesn’t think it’s the case that residents are in danger or have to be concerned about the drive by shooting outside the Capitol Quarter Community Center at 3:20am on Saturday morning.   The meeting was held in the building at 5th and L Streets, SE, outside of which, the shootings occurred.

Kane provide a few new details – it turns out the shooting was outside the Community Center itself  rather than across the street from it, as was initially reported by MPD.

There were two victims – one had been shot in the stomach and the other in the foot; both were hospitalized.  Neither is cooperating with police.  Kane said that “officers were here immediately and recovered two guns.”  She said it was not certain that some of those involved were residents of the community – “because someone has an address in the community doesn’t necessarily mean they live here.”  MPD has reviewed video from Community Center security cameras, and Kane said detectives were working the case “around the clock.”

Residents say that hanging out on Community Center property and elsewhere in the neighborhood is an ongoing problem.  One resident said, “People hang out and smoke and drink all night long and nobody pays attention.  What’s the plan was for moving forward?”

Kane’s message: Don’t be reluctant to call 911.  She cited the “delicate balance” between enforcing against criminal behavior and intervening when people are not doing anything wrong.  Being on Community Center property after 8:00pm is a violation and enforceable.  Kane said, “If you see a problem night after night – if you know something we don’t – you need to tell us.  We will increase patrols and coordinate with DCHA Police.  If people are standing on the corner drinking and smoking weed we need to come for it.”

When a resident said that the line is unclear when we should call 911.  Lt. Crystal Beslow responded, “Call and let us figure it out. “

Kane said that she was passionate about keeping residents safe and getting guns off the street, and that MPD has to do a better job of heading off these incidents before they happen by engaging all members of the community – “those doing right, those on the line, and those across the line.”

The Community Center is currently being administered by the DC Housing Authority.  See CHC article here:  Naomi Mitchell, CM Charles Allen’s community liaison representative, noted that plans are underway to transfer the Community Center from DCHA to DC Department of Recreation by year’s end.  She said that the community will have an opportunity for input on the Center’s role going forward, and that the community needs to be involved from day one.

ANC6D07 Commissioner Meredith Fascett, in whose single member district the Center lies, told Capitol Hill Corner after the meeting, “The candid conversation that Commander Kane led tonight makes our community stronger.  I am very grateful for the tremendous efforts of MPD’s First District team and the unwavering commitment of community members to ensure that our neighborhood is a place where everyone can feel safe and thrive.”

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