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DC city council to vote on sweeping crime bill

Fox News’ Alexandria Hoff reports the latest from Washington, D.C.

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Lawmakers in Washington, D.C. passed a sweeping anti-crime bill Tuesday just days after business leaders in the nation’s capital wrote a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser and legislators warning about an “alarming increase in violent crime across our city.” 

The Secure D.C. Omnibus Amendment Act of 2024 — which includes more than 100 proposals to fight crime, including ramping up gun violence penalties and adding punishments for organized retail theft, according to FOX 5 DC — was passed by the D.C. Council in a 12-1 vote late Tuesday.  

“The council passage of my Secure DC legislation sends the clear message that DC is united in its efforts to make meaningful and sustainable improvements to public safety by preventing crime, ensuring accountability, and improving government coordination and response,” Councilmember Brooke Pinto wrote on X, formerly Twitter, following the ruling.

It comes after Washington, D.C. saw the most homicides in 25 years last year with 274 overall deaths and a 39% increase in violent crime, although Bowser said both those figures are down so far in 2024, Fox5DC reports. She is expected to sign the bill into law. 

“We should not let criminals take over our neighborhoods,” the Democrat mayor reportedly said Saturday. “We do need to see significantly more decreases in crime and that’s what our message is.” 


Police officers stand outside with caution tape around them

Washington Metropolitan Police officers investigate a shooting at the Potomac Avenue Metro Station in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Last week, more than 70 business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Retail Federation penned a letter to Bowser and lawmakers urging them to take action on the “pressing issue” of crime that “threatens the safety and prosperity of not only our community but also our employees and their families.” 

“Washington, D.C., is quickly becoming a national outlier in rising crime, and the trends are alarming. The national homicide rate decreased by 15% from 2022 to 2023, and the homicide rate in major cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Phoenix all declined more than 10%. In Washington, D.C., homicides rose by 35%,” reads a portion of the letter, which was obtained by Axios. 

“Our organizations are primarily based in the downtown business district, where there have been horrifying acts of violence over the past several months,” the letter adds, noting that the Council should “take immediate action to target the small group of organized and repeat criminals responsible for most of these violent offenses.” 


DC Moncler theft 1

DC police are searching for three individuals who stole over $36,000 worth of merchandise from a Moncler store on Jan. 18, 2024. (Metropolitan Police Department)

On the D.C. Council’s website, it says the Secure D.C. Omnibus Amendment Act of 2024 would “eliminate or extend the length of statutes of limitations for certain serious crimes” and that “it would make misdemeanor arrest warrants extraditable and also clarify that GPS records in the possession of the Pretrial Services Agency can be admissible to prove a defendant’s guilt in a criminal case or other judicial proceeding.” 

“It would enhance protections for seniors and children and also increase protections for victims of sexual and domestic violence,” it also says. 

DC Police, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser split image

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is expected to sign the “Secure DC” anti-crime bill. (Getty Images)


In February, Bowser said “We know that driving down crime requires us to send a clear message that if you make our city less safe, if you bring violence to our community, you will be held accountable,” according to FOX 5. 

Greg Norman is a reporter at Fox News Digital.

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