Residents Want Answers on Capitol Hill Crime

Lanier addressed residents about the spike in Capitol Hill crime. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

More than 300 residents packed into a charter school gymnasium in Southeast D.C. Tuesday night to hear from legislators and police about the recent spike in Capitol Hill crime.  

They voiced their concerns about an uptick in city-wide crime, and particularly in the neighborhood, peppering Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier, Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Klein, and Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen with questions about what is being done to address it. Lanier said the spike in armed robberies is part of a changing trend in the District of Columbia, and catching the perpetrators is more complicated than putting more police in specific neighborhoods.  

Capitol Hill Crime Spike Prompts Community Meeting

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A recent string of robberies in the Capitol Hill neighborhood have left residents wondering what is happening and what is being done to combat the crime.  

The uptick in crime, most dramatically indicated by five armed robberies that occurred within a span of roughly 30 minutes on Oct. 21, has shaken the neighborhood. The Washington Post reported that police arrested several suspects connected to the robberies, but the crime has prompted the local D.C. councilman to call for a public meeting to discuss what's going on. On Tuesday, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen will host a public community meeting along with Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier and First District Commander Jeff Brown, whose jurisdiction includes Capitol Hill. They plan "to outline their plans and response, as well as answer questions from residents directly," according to a notice on Allen's website. The meeting will be held at Friendship Chamberlain Public Charter School in southeast D.C.  

Suspect Shot by Union Station Security Guard Dies

Bystanders overlook the scene of a shooting by a security guard near the McDonald's in Union Station. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 7:35 p.m. | A shooting incident at Union Station put Capitol Hill on alert just as the House wrapped up its final votes for the week.  

Police said a woman was stabbed and a male suspect was shot by a security officer Friday at the transportation hub just north of the Capitol. The suspect died several hours later, according to police.

D.C. Braces for Pope Francis Frenzy (Updated)

Officials likened the pope's visit to a presidential inauguration. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:57 p.m. |  Federal and local District of Columbia officials are bracing for the hundreds of thousands of people expected to visit D.C. during the first leg of Pope Francis' visit to the U.S.  

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, security officials likened the event to a presidential inauguration, and transportation officials said there will be a number of road closures in effect. Congressional staffers and visitors will face a series of closures when the pontiff heads to the Capitol on Sept. 24 to address a joint meeting of Congress. District Department of Transportation Director Leif Dormsjo said Independence Avenue will be closed that morning, from Second Street Southwest to Third Street Southeast. Constitution Avenue will also be closed from Third Street Northeast to Second Street Southwest.  

Capitol Hill Grappling With D.C. Crime Spike

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Capitol Hill’s police advisory council usually convenes to discuss crime and policing issues, a handful of residents show up. On Sept. 1, it was standing room only.  

Capitol Hill residents and others living in the Metropolitan Police Department’s 1st District gathered at the police station in Southwest D.C. to voice concerns about the recent spike in violent crime rocking the nation’s capital. In the front row sat 13 year-old Taije Chambliss, who walked into the station with help from a walker. Chambliss was recovering from being shot in a drive-by shooting on Aug. 30, just a few blocks from the police station. “It’s getting old,” one clearly frustrated resident told 1st District Commander Jeff Brown. “It’s getting increasingly more dangerous.”  

GAO Questions Capitol Power Plant Transition

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Government Accountability Office report released Thursday calls into question the ongoing project to transition the Capitol power plant from relying partially on coal to completely on natural gas.  

The watchdog agency suggested the Architect of the Capitol did not follow leading capital-planning practices in the project, which result in an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars. AOC Stephen T. Ayers disagreed with the report's claims, arguing that transitioning the power plant is the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly option. In 2013, the Architect of the Capitol secured approval  from the federal and D.C. governments to move forward with "cogeneration" construction, which would allow the plant to simultaneously produce electricity and heat from natural gas. The century-old power plant provides steam and chilled water to heat and cool 23 facilities on Capitol Hill, including the Capitol and House and Senate office buildings. The power plant currently purchases fuel and electricity to run the boilers and chillers.  

Himes Consoles Family of Slain Former Intern

Himes consoled the family of a former intern who was murdered in D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., was in his home state Monday paying respects to the family of former intern Kevin Sutherland, who was stabbed to death on July 4 in Washington, D.C.  

Sutherland, a 24-year-old American University graduate, worked in Himes' congressional office as an intern from September to December 2013. He recently began working as a digital strategist for New Blue Interactive, a new media strategy firm specializing in Democratic campaigns. On July 4, Sutherland was stabbed on a Red Line train as it approached the NoMa-Gallaudet Metro Station. Sutherland died from his injuries before paramedics could reach him. Police arrested Jasper Spires Monday on a first-degree murder charge.  

Capitol Police Reveal Fourth of July Concert Restrictions

The annual fireworks will light up skies over D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As congressional administrators prepare to host the annual Independence Day celebration, Capitol Police released details of security measures designed to curtail debauchery during the patriotic festivities.  

Glass bottles have been added to the list of items prohibited from the grounds on Saturday, along with the usual ban on alcoholic beverages, suitcases, duffel bags, bicycles and weapons or explosives — including fireworks.  

AOC Details July 4th Concert Security Protocols

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As lawmakers rush to check items off their legislative to-do list before the Independence Day recess, Capitol administrators are busy preparing for the annual July 4th Concert on the West Lawn.  

"A Capitol Fourth," the live concert broadcast on PBS, is set for Saturday, July 4, at 8 p.m., and the Architect of the Capitol announced Monday that the concert will result in a familiar series of street closures. From midnight on July 2 until 4 a.m. July 5,  streets surrounding the West Front will be closed. Closures include First Street between Independence Ave. SW and Constitution Ave. NW; Pennsylvania Ave. NW between First Street NW and Third Street NW; and Maryland Avenue between First Street SW and Third Street SW.  

Shootout Suspect Nabbed in Lower Senate Park

Capitol Police arrested a man wanted in a Pennsylvania shootout. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Capitol Police nabbed a suspect on June 5 who was wanted in connection with a violent street shootout that took place about a month earlier in Pennsylvania.  

Reports of an unattended package in Lower Senate Park drew police to First and D streets Northeast around 7 a.m. last Friday. The officers were approached by two individuals who claimed the bags as their property, according to the police report. Further investigation showed one of the men, 20-year-old Don Lamont Carter Jr. of Arnold, Pa., had an active arrest warrant from Pennsylvania. Carter is accused of aggravated assault, carrying a firearm without a license, firing a gun into an occupied structure and other charges, according to local news reports , for his involvement in a shootout that sprayed bullets throughout a residential neighborhood in New Kensington, Pa., a small city northeast of Pittsburgh. Bullets police said were shot by Carter and two other men hit two occupied homes and two parked cars, but caused no injuries.