(PatriotWise.com) — The US Attorney for the District of Columbia is urging the DC City Council to approve an amendment that would grant more power to police and prosecutors to combat violent crime in the District, prompting some critics to warn of the return of “stop and frisk,” WUSA9 reported.
During hearings last Wednesday on the proposed ACTIVE Amendment of 2023, Council member Zachary Parker said any proposal that permits police to randomly stop anyone would be “dangerous,” especially for young black men in the district.
Parker objected to a provision of the ACTIVE Amendment that would allow the police to stop anyone who has been previously convicted or charged with a gun crime without a search warrant if they are on probation, parole, or pretrial supervised release.
US Attorney Matthew Graves dismissed Parker’s concerns, calling the comparison to “stop and frisk” hyperbole.
He said the provision does not include randomly stopping individuals on the street. Instead, police can only search someone who is under court supervision.
Graves said in last Wednesday’s hearing that 90 percent of gun offenders are released before trial, and most of them receive probation. As a result, the majority of gun offenders return to the community where they first committed their offenses, only to engage in the same criminal conduct.
He argued that law enforcement currently lacks the tools needed to “effectively” ensure that those individuals “are not rearming themselves.”
Unsatisfied with Graves’ answer, Councilman Parker questioned how police would know what individuals are on release or who might be at risk.
Graves pointed out that between 100 and 150 people are charged with gun crimes in Washington, DC, every month.
The ACTIVE Amendment of 2023 would also increase the maximum penalties for gun-related crimes and require consecutive rather than concurrent jail sentences for those convicted of possession of extremely dangerous weapons.
The measure would also amend the definition of carjacking to include vehicle thefts in which the victim is not in or near the vehicle.
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