Mayor Bowser shouted down for proposing more cops, searches, house raids

On the 27th of August, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser had the nerve to show up in Ward 8 and propose more police and more searches and house raids as the answer to rising crine. Black Lives Matter activists shouted down her denials that this would be "Stop and Frisk" in DC. She had to leave the stage under a chorus of boos as the audience resoundingly rejected her proposal for more cop,searches, and raids.

At one point protesters chanted "Police are not the answer," appropriate given how many killings are at the hands of police. Another chant was "Jobs Not Jails!" Under the Mayor's proposal, police would get new powers to search people who have been released from jail after any conviction for a "violent" offense. This can include "assaulting a police officer," a charge that can easily stem from someone simply being harassed for say, selling loose cigarettes or driving with a turn signal out. The defending party in any fight also risks a "violent crime" conviction if police show up at the wrong time. Same as in school: if you do not submit without resistance to attack from bullies, you too are punished. In school it's for "fighting" and given the school to prison pipeline this is a serious concern. A protester could get such a conviction for throwing a tear gas canister back at riot cops. Thus, the Mayor's proposal could cast a very wide net, rather like sex offender registration in some states including people convicted for pissing on a bush. In many commnunities at least 1/3ed of the public is under some kind of court-ordered supervision.

#StopPoliceTerrorDC has asked these questions:

Further, the Mayor has sought a massive expansion of police powers to detain and arrest those on probation or parole. They claim they will focus only on “violent criminals.” This raises two questions, first: where is the evidence that this population of people is uniquely responsible for said murders? Secondly, why, if it is just “a few”, do we need blanket legal changes that criminalize and target wide swaths of Returning Citizens trying to rebuild their lives?

Further, when data concerning the decriminalization of Marijuana and MPD’s own public statements clearly show that racially-biased policing is a problem, what evidence do we have to inspire trust that these expanded police powers will not be abused?

The gauntlet has been cast down: If Mayor "Wal-Mart" Bowser attempts to put into practice her "stronger safer DC" with more cops, more raids, more searches, there will be resistance in the streets from Black Lives Matter activists. She should expect traffic to be shut down and shopping areas to be disrupted. In addition, disrupting this sort of staged media event the Mayor held at a closed school in Ward 8 is reminescent of the resistance former DC Mayor Tony Williams got when he announced he was closing the former DC General Hospital. That closure combined with anti-homeless initiatives earned former Mayor Williams AKA "Tony the Rat" years of aggressive interventions against his events all over the city by antipoverty and housing activists. It began in 2001 with the disruption of one of his events at a church in Anacostia, followed by a march on his apartment near the Watergate. Over a year later,in Summer 2002 MAYDAY DC broke up 14 of his campaign fundraising events in a row. If Mayor Bowser wants to pursue an agenda of keeping people down so condo owners feel safer walking the streets, the events of August 27 suggest similar consequences may await her.

Washington City Paper youtube video of Muriel Bowser's search proposal being shouted down

Still from the Washington City Paper's video

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