Over the weekend, an extremely disturbing video of a carjacking in Washington, D.C., went viral. Two teenage girls, 13 and 15, stole a car from an Uber Eats driver on Tuesday. When the Pakistani immigrant refused to relinquish his property, they took off, flipping the car on its side and killing the man. Murder charges have now been filed.
Because the two girls who murdered this man are black, the case has taken on all the partisan connotations you’d expect, including CNN referring to the death of the man as him being “fatally injured” in an “accident.”
Here’s the footage.
Appalling footage of the carjacking near Nationals Park in Washington D.C. on Tuesday that resulted in the death of Pakistani immigrant & Uber Eats driver Mohammad Anwar. The teenage girls who police say used a Taser to steal the car face murder charges.pic.twitter.com/mOPnrLBf0t
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) March 27, 2021
Following the disgusting incident, you’d expect the Mayor of D.C. to speak out and condemn such senseless violence. Perhaps she’d be expected to acknowledge that her city is overrun with crime right now and that serious issues need to be dealt with. At the very least, you’d think she’d offer her sympathies, given the heinous nature of the crime and the fact that it has become national news.
But nah, she did this.
Auto theft is a crime of opportunity. Follow these steps to reduce the risk of your vehicle becoming a target.
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) March 28, 2021
The pictures of smiling police officers with the message to not “leave your engine running” and “park in a safe space” are about as tone-deaf as it gets after what happened Tuesday.
Do you know how you prevent auto-theft? You arrest the criminals who commit them. As someone who lived in D.C. and had their car stolen, I can tell you that the police will take your statement and that’ll be the end of it. They don’t actually investigate. They don’t take fingerprints once the car is recovered (mine was found totaled the next day, after some vagrants took it for a joyride). When I asked why nothing more was being done, they told me they don’t have the resources to bother with auto theft. I can only imagine the situation is even worse now, with so much political rancor over-policing.
Bowser’s post sure seems like victim-blaming, though she’ll likely claim ignorance or that her comms person put this out. Further, it puts the onus on law-abiding citizens to make sure their skirts aren’t too short, instead of expending the necessary will to clean up a crime-ridden city.
People shouldn’t have to live in fear and dramatically adjust their behavior in order to ensure criminals don’t carjack and kill them. It’s the responsibility of the mayor of a city, and by extension, the police force, to actually do their jobs. Instead, figures like Bowser and the local prosecutors make excuses for criminality, don’t enforce the laws on the books, and cut funding for necessary policing. Thus, you get the absolutely out-of-control situation going on in D.C. and many other, major cities.