D.C. Murder Rate Rises for First Time in Five Years

In 2013, for the first time in five years, the murder rate in Washington D.C. climbed upward. With two weeks to go in the calendar year, there have been 103 homicides.

That compares to 88 last year. Even though twelve of the 2013 homicides resulted from the Navy Yard shooting in September, the 91 other homicides by themselves represent an uptick in the murder rate.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier tried to see this through rose-colored glasses, explaining that most other violent crimes have decreased, such as street shootings and gang violence.

However, she acknowledged that in addition to the climbing murder rate, domestic violence has also increased. “We still have some challenges; we’ve seen an increase in domestic violence and that’s troubling because we’ve seen that go down year after year. A lot of those domestic violence cases are children, so very troubling," she said.

Lanier also acknowledged that there was a connection between the increased murder and domestic violence rates. She explained, “We’ve had four or five children, infants under [the age of] four killed as result of domestic violence, so there’s still a lot of work to do.”


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