DC Police Chief Discovers That Gun Control Laws Do Nothing About a Revolving Door Criminal Justice System

Karl Racine, Charles Allen, Peter Newsham

District of Columbia Police Chief Peter Newsham (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Washington, D.C. has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation and a serious crime problem. Much of that is likely due to the District’s decidedly lenient treatment of violent felons. Now, after a week spent dealing with eight dead bodies, D.C.’s top cop thinks maybe keeping offenders in prison might be a more effective way to DO SOMETHING.

About 70% of the people arrested with guns in D.C. have had prior arrests for firearm-related offenses. In 2018, nearly half the people arrested for homicide had prior gun arrests.

“It’s very disturbing to me to see people who we know are potentially going to be involved in violent behavior and we’re not appropriately dealing with them when we get them the first time,” (Police Chief Peter) Newsham said.

He wants more to be done to make sure gun offenders are being held accountable.

“Hopefully, people will get engaged and they will kind of look at the sentencing that some of our career criminals are getting and maybe give it a different consideration,” Newsham said.

– Kristi King in Frustrated DC police chief wants more done to target repeat gun offenders

comments

  1. avatar Joatmon says:

    You’d think criminals wouldn’t break laws. 🤔
    Meanwhile, average Joe gun owner has people who want to trample his rights.

    1. avatar A. C. says:

      Historically, violent criminals have made up a sizeable portion of enforcers in socialist governments. That’s why leftist politicians don’t want real crime reform. Law abiding citizens are likely to be the biggest source of opposition to their oppression and confiscation, thugs who are loyal to the politicians and have no regard for law make the best enforcers. This police chief made a big mistake in focusing attention on the group of potential enforcers as criminals.

      1. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

        Stalin the armed robber comes to mind.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          So do Brown Shirts.

      2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        In his book “Bandits” British historian Eric Hobsbawm observed that cops and criminals often come from the same socio-economic groups—-have similar upbringing experiences, are from the same neighborhoods, attended the same schools, etc. Game wardens, for instance, are often on a first name basis with poachers, coast-guardsmen know all the local smugglers, and cops are on a first-name basis with gang-guys.

  2. avatar Bobsuruncle says:

    Breaking News…. career criminals don’t obey laws.

    1. avatar enuf says:

      We need a law to make that behavior illegal.

      1. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

        What we need is summary executions on street corners for anyone with a gang tat.

        1. avatar Robb says:

          Calm down Adolf, your white hood is showing.

          That said, change “gang tats’ for “criminals” and you might be on to something.

          Too early for Judge Dredd?

    2. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

      What we need to to form a committee to address the issue. Then, form another committee to “kinda look at the sentencing that some of our career criminals are getting…” Then form another committee to address the major issues around this issue and hopefully will become engaged in the issue.

      1. avatar Dude says:

        That doesn’t add enough to the administrative state so it’ll never happen. We need to create a new department to oversee this. All we need is a highly paid bureaucrat and a big, ever-expanding budget. There ya go. Problem solved!

        1. avatar Huntmaster says:

          Don’t you mean a whole bunch of high paid bureaucrats all carrying Democrat Party membership cards. And only the best educated will do. They must all be graduates from elitist left wing Universities. You know, with proper credentials and all. Preferably the sons and daughters of all the Professors and Administrators who rig the admissions systems with automatic admissions and free tuition for their kids while everybody else who tries to get their kid in, goes to jail if they try hack the system.

      2. avatar Cundalini says:

        sounds racist

      3. avatar R. Corrino says:

        Why don’t we just create imaginary problems while ignoring the real problems. Then, we can can not propose solutions and just resolve to do something. We can then make new laws that do nothing to solve the problem, perhaps even excacerbate it but, in the meantime, these laws will include taxes and fees on the law abiding so money is generated for the lawmakers and money is always good right ( specially if you don’t have to work for it).

        Works here in California.

  3. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    ““It’s very disturbing to me to see people who we know are potentially going to be involved in violent behavior and we’re not appropriately dealing with them when we get them the first time,” (Police Chief Peter) Newsham said.”

    Chief Newsham should know that the demographics of such actions are not in keeping with the current political policies of the local DC government. If he values his job he may want to shut his mouth.

    1. avatar GluteusMaximus says:

      Exactly

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      Yup, more and more places are going to “catch and release” because enforcement of the law is so “racist” as an unequal number of blacks get swept up in the system. Just look at Crook County, Illinois, or California after “nonviolent criminals” moved to jails instead of prison, and now the bail system being eliminated next year).

  4. avatar Baldwin says:

    You have to keep those revolving jail doors in good operating condition. They get rusty if you don’t keep ’em revolving.

    If you are genuinely concerned with crime, what ya need is some red flag laws there! Wait a minute…those don’t apply to known criminals do they? Well, ya need some red flag laws anyway…if it saves just one liberal head from ‘splodin’. Because guns.

  5. avatar Dude says:

    We need Criminal Control, not gun control. Most of the people in charge of policy are complete fools.

  6. avatar Dude says:

    Why don’t we work on the messaging away from calling it gun control? We have actual data that shows more guns do not equal more crime. #guncontrol is left wing propaganda that’s been repeated so much, people actually believe it’s a valid solution.

  7. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Gun control isn’t about punishing criminals it’s about punishing the law abiding citizens to prevent them from availing themselves of their 2 nd. amendment rights. That’s what gun controls all about Charlie Brown.

    1. avatar MarkT says:

      Thanks Linus!
      This made me LOL.
      I even heard the last sentence in Linus’ voice.

  8. avatar John Galt says:

    I want violent crime to stop. Don’t want to “ban the box”, don’t want you to have a third chance, Don’t want you in parking lots or in public with my wife and children.

    Two violent strikes your dead!

    I am amazed at how many repeat felons I see arrested every day that have been in and out of jail / prison 10, 20 even 30 times.

    ZERO TOLLERANCE.

    If a “person” commits two violent felonies they should be fast tracked to a firing squad. Expedited trial, ONE expedited appeal then stop breathing my kids air and sucking my taxes.

    Firing squads are CHEAP. No problem raising citizen volenteers.

    I would like to see a convicted violent felon (particularly EVERY PERSON ON DEATH ROW, NATION WIDE), executed one a night, every night at 6 pm (dinner time) so you can have your kids watch what happens to A$$HOLES. One a night as an example to the children of the nation until death rows are empty, prison populations are drastically reduced and violent crime becomes unpopular.

    I would also be OK with sending the bill for the firing squad expenses to the parents of the felon as a lien as a reward for their outstanding parenting.

    Teach your kids to be honest and law abiding or screw them……..and you.

    1. avatar Omer says:

      “ No problem raising citizen volenteers.”
      Some of the rifles used in firing squads were loaded with blanks so each member of the squad could tell themselves that they weren’t the one to kill the offender. Killing is difficult on mentally healthy humans. Wonder why the military has a high suicide rate? Because killing another human will cause mental problems. Those that have no problem killing are sociopaths. Not all sociopaths are evil or dangerous, but most people will not be unscathed by killing another person.

      1. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

        I have have skilled a double shitload with a radio and artillery I couldn’t see. I’m totally fine with that. Does that make me a sociopath?

        1. avatar Not a Keyboard Warrior says:

          Huge difference mentally from doing it from miles away vs 20ft away.

          It’s easy to rationalize “there might be some fatalities” .

          Your inability to say killed suggests it bothers you more than you’re willing to admit.

        2. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

          But it’s probably just my arthritis fucking with my fingers.

          Also I watched the rounds land on them lots of times. I could see the targets, not the battery.

      2. avatar Dave G. says:

        @Omer:
        “Some of the rifles used in firing squads were loaded with blanks so each member of the squad could tell themselves that they weren’t the one to kill the offender.”

        That is an old custom, which dates back to a time when muzzle loaders with very mild recoil were in use. They still do the loaded with blank thing, but with modern rifles the squad members can tell who got the blank because of a marked difference in recoil. Years ago, I read about this in a book entitled: “The Execution of Private Slovak,” which is an account of the trial and execution of the only US soldier to be shot by a firing squad for desertion in WWII. One of the squad members said that he knew he had shot Pvt. Slovak, because the borrowed M1 he used was dirty and kicked like hell.

  9. avatar Seizure doc says:

    An organization needs to obtain the name of all the criminals in D.C. who have committed gun crimes and issue red flag complaints en masse. Shove the attempts to take rights away from LAW ABIDING citizens down their throats.

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      This is a good idea, what better evidence could there be then an arrest and conviction for a violent crime with a gun?

      Red flag every individual who has been convicted of a gun crime, send LEOs to their home and confiscate whatever weapons are found. If they are a felon in possession of a gun, send them to prison.

      1. avatar Southern Cross says:

        The Democrats have made it very clear criminals will not be subject to Red Flag orders.

  10. avatar Merle 0 says:

    Of course not. The left needs criminals do continue to do their thing so they can blame everything on law abiding gun owners.

  11. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    If the chief is just discovering this now, I’d say that he should step down and hand the job over to someone who has a bit more experience and intelligence.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Nah, he knows it, he’s just trying to shift the blame–to where it properly belongs. I think the Chicago Chief has tried to do the same thing. I doubt either will have any success.

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        “I think the Chicago Chief has tried to do the same thing. I doubt either will have any success.”

        They *could*, but they *won’t*, once it becomes apparent the vast majority of those ‘flagged’ have a common trait. The exact same trait that kept them from being automatically included in “Red-Flag Orders” by indignant Leftists…

  12. avatar enuf says:

    Reform on long prison sentences for non-violent offenses has gone horribly off the rails there. The DC City Council has pushed the criteria for early release into the zone of fantasy and wishful thinking.

    What should be done as normal procedure is when a repeat offender is captured, local, State and Federal prosecutors review the case cooperatively. Which jurisdiction has the best chance of conviction for the harshest sentence? Which law best applies?

    Same deal with police. Identify repeat offenders and target them. Make catching the career criminals a top priority with permanent units created to hunt them down.

    The next thing to do is track the repeat offender back to the DC City Council decision that let that person out of prison early. Then arrest the Council members who voted in favor, charge them with being an Accessory to the crime. Do it in a big splashy way in front of the TV cameras.

    It would not stand up in court of course. But it would drive the point hard into the face of the public, of the voters. This is why you have repeat rapists, repeat murderers, repeat armed robbers. Because these morons keep letting out of jail!

  13. avatar IAmNotTheHulk says:

    Prisons are privatized, free labor for special interests who can afford these “slaves”. Gotta keep a rotation going. /s

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      The privatize prisons are a big part of the problem.

      The for-profit owners don’t want violent criminals, they’re a real headache to incarcerate. I require higher staffing levels and constant vigilant corrections officers to maintain order.
      The higher staffing ratio and higher salaries needed for competent COs mean lower profit margins for the prison owners.

      On the other hand, nonviolent drug offenders are an excellent population for the for-profit prisons, you can accept a lower staffing ratio and less well trained officers to maintain security, meaning much higher profits for prison owners.

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        Then make that a part of the solution. Use the privates for the non-violent, and let the government prisons handle the violent ones…

        1. avatar Dude says:

          If I were to end up in prison I’d hope the lefties were in control so I could claim I was a woman and they would have to put me in with the females. Trans rights are women’s rights. 😉

        2. avatar Miner49er says:

          Dude, we accept you as you are. You don’t need any excuses to put on a dress, and I certainly won’t judge you harshly for wanting to do so.

          Go ahead, please share your innermost feelings with the group, and Judge not, lest ye be judged.

        3. avatar Dude says:

          Miner, that sounds like a bigoted passive aggressive attack. I’m going to have to take your bleeding heart liberal card.

  14. avatar former water walker says:

    Alas it seems dumobocrat environs like DC are in lockstep with the Chicago Way. Catch & release. And vote Demonrat. Pathetic…

  15. avatar Will Drider says:

    No shit Chief! You just figured that out? This “problem” has been known for decades and NOW your Dems/Libs are screaming for sentence/incarceration reform! They want alternatives to jail/prison incarceration, greater lattitude in sentencing all first and second time offenders, elimination of all “Three Strikes your Out” Sentences and no juveniles tried as adults, elimination of “Bail” financial burden, immediaterelease of “non-violent drug offenders AND expunge their records. These initiatives will even eliminate the slight delays of the “revolving door”.

  16. avatar Defens says:

    So, releasing known violent offenders to commit more crimes, WITH GUNS!! doesn’t seem to be working. But red flagging dear old Uncle Bud and taking all his guns because he’s seemed a little depressed lately is a really great idea. Astounding how the anti gunners can fail to make the most obvious connections.

  17. avatar strych9 says:

    One has to wonder how Gonzalez v. ICE will affect “revolving door” policies and, by extension, “red flag” laws.

    If the Feds can’t issue a detainer based on a database (which may have errors) then how can a state or locality do the same?

  18. avatar rt66paul says:

    Being able to plea bargain away gun use in a crime is the problem. Even if they bargain away the extra time, the fact that a gun was used in the crime should be listed and if he/she even has a crime with a gun again, it should be automatic life in prison.

    I am talking about true use of a gun in a crime, not just that there was a gun in the house when a drug dealer is taken down. I am talking about the gun actually being part of the crime.

    1. avatar joefoam says:

      Plea bargaining is a huge issue in releasing violent felons back into society. Do the crime do the time, not some watered down version.

    2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      ” the fact that a gun was used in the crime should be listed and if he/she even has a crime with a gun again, it should be automatic life in prison.”

      The “Inconvenient Truth” of the race of the (accused) offender insures that will never happen.
      Justice in America hasn’t been ‘blind’ in quite some time, and won’t be, for the foreseeable future…

  19. avatar Rico Seinz says:

    Same shit every day. Same group of people committing the same crimes at the same rates or worse. The establishment doesn’t want to do a damn thing about it.

  20. avatar Aleric says:

    Leftist pass tons of laws then plea bargain MINORITY OFFENDERS offenses down to lesser crimes all to appear “not racist”. Then blame white people when the thugs commit the crimes or are shot by police committing crimes. But let a middle class non minority inadvertly break the law and they throw the book at them and ruin their lives all for SOCIAL JUSTICE.

  21. avatar Alan says:

    Think the chief realizes that sticking one’s hand in boiling water will result in significant pain too? I speak merely as an elderly private citizen, who by the way, has never resided in Washington, D.C. That said, I wonder as to where government there goes to find it’s public officials?

  22. avatar John Kelly says:

    The bigger reason these felons are released is: wait for it . . . Money! The first, and most important, reason we accepted any form of government was for our collective safety. But elected officials use our tax dollars for every homespun boondoggle other than safety.

  23. avatar Icabod says:

    Think about this.
    Pleas bargains are popular as the prosecutor gets a win. The criminal gets a light sentence, and the court system isn’t clogged up.
    Hammer all criminals and they will demand jury trials. This will overwhelm the court system leading to dismissal of many charges. Judges will find even more reason to find fault with the gun charges.
    Then the prisons aren’t set up for a glut of prisoners on long sentences. There will be no room and sentences will be reduced. Then there’s the popular racist call as critics compare the percent of the population to the percent in jail. (Yes, they ignore the percent that commit crimes)
    The system stinkith and there is no way to reduce the odorue

  24. avatar Ogre says:

    When I reviewed the list of DC murders, I noted they were all committed in the Northeast or Southeast quadrants of the city. These areas (except in the Capitol Hill neighborhoods) have long been high-crime slum areas with high murder levels, although the area around Nats Park in SE is cleaning up thanks to development and an influx of young urban professionals into former slum areas, thus resulting in enhanced police patrols. The main area for murders in SE is south of the Anacostia River – that’s an area I wouldn’t go into on a bet. It’s just that this past week the murderers were a bit more active than usual. I also noted that that no murders occurred in the Northwest quadrant, where the swells and rich folk live – lots of police protection there. So what the chief is complaining about is about normal for DC, although I commend him on having enough guts to say something that is contrary to the City Council’s socialist/progressive policies. Much good may it do him. Nothing will change until home rule is revoked and a federal commissioner is appointed to run DC, just as it was before home rule.

  25. avatar Jim Warren says:

    The system has known for decades that changing criminal behavior was a losing proposition. As a need to signal that they’re accomplishing something, we get this current wave of civil and constitutional oppression.

  26. avatar eagle10 says:

    We need more officers like those in ‘Magnum Force’ with Clint Eastwood. A few thousand like Charles Bronson in ‘Death Wish’ would start to slow the revolving door.

  27. avatar P Sturtevan says:

    Unfortunately, they really still don’t get it. And they really don’t understand (malum en se v malum prohibitum). That worries me more than the actual criminals.

  28. avatar George in NC says:

    Why is every police chief lately a four star general? And what does a cop do to earn five rows of ribbons?

  29. avatar The SGM says:

    Suggestions will not pass in a liberal, leftist, progressive or social democratic Congress. They will not increase time served for the harshest sentence for they may trample upon the criminals self esteem and less likely to reform. There is no easy way to do it and do it now except to increase sentences to life or death for the harshest of crimes or any crime committed with a weapon and or if a life is taken, no time off for good behavior, shorten the time between capture and trial and sentencing, increase personnel on the admin side, judges and support staff and requisite facilities for processing, build more prisons, hire more staff and pay them good wages ( a good job program) and link all state police record systems for immediate coordination for past crimes and keep it updated.

  30. avatar Andy says:

    He’ll be gone soon. They’ll be shuffling hm out the door quick as the last chief of that town to realize what’s really going on there.

  31. avatar GS650G says:

    Dc called released felons ” Returning Citizens” so they don’t feel stigmatized or singled out. Don’t want to hurt their feelings you know.

  32. avatar Roger Cain says:

    One thing is for certain, we are not taking advantage of the Death Penalty near enough. Not only should more of the prison population be on death row but the stay should be limited to 6 months to 1 year.

  33. avatar Bruce says:

    This is what happens when you have District Attorneys who either do not want to prosecute or are told not to prosecute by the higher ups. It also applies to judges handing out lenient sentences. Criminals must be held accountable for their actions. Gun control for law abiding citizens, does nothing, as a criminal will always break any law you make.

  34. avatar Mad Max says:

    Soon to be ex-Cheif of Police…

    Telling the truth to the public regarding Leftist policies is career-ending in Leftist-controlled jurisdictions.

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