And further more, do you care?
Last year, in an effort to stem the tide of crime and homicides being committed by and on D.C. children under the age of 18, then-Mayor Anthony Williams and then-Chief of Police Charles Ramsey declared a "Crime Emergency" and asked the City Council to institute a curfew on the city's youth. The council voted in favor of the curfew with, if I remember correctly, only one 'nay' vote, which was cast by our now-Mayor, the lithe and youthful, brash and swashbuckling Adrian Fenty, who claimed that young people were not the cause of crime and it was a crime and a non-solution to make them be in their houses and, perhaps even in bed, by 10 0'clock at night.
I don't have all the statistics or the quotes or the actual votes that some readers will demand in the interest of "fair reporting." I'll leave that to others to cull and post. What I do have, though, is a D.C. address, taxes that I pay, and experience with unruly youth who roam the streets until midnight disregarding the fact that their neighbors may actually want to go to sleep between the hours of 10:00 and 12:00. And even if we don't, we'd like some quiet enjoyment in our own homes without the need to be hypervigilant about kids trespassing in our yards, whooping it up in the street, banging into and boucing themselves and each off of our cars, and just causing general mayhem.
It's been a year since the curfews, which were welcome and effective. Last night, we had "police action" on our street. Last night, the pack of kids across the street were out in all their boisterous, fuck-you-neighbors noisiness, as were a number of other packs on virtually every street corner I drove past between my end of upper NW and downtown. (A route I drove to take a friend home.) Last night, I spoke to two officers of the MPD, both of whom expressed disgust with Mayor Fenty's "liberal policies" and short-sightedness for not enacting a curfew on the city's youth.
Yo' Adrian! Listen up man.
- I work hard.
- I pay taxes. A lot of taxes.
- I expect, in return for my hard work and taxes, to enjoy some modicum of peace and quiet in my neighborhood.
- I believe children and youths under the age of 16 have absolutely no business being out on the streets after 10:00 p.m. unless they're working and enroute to/from a job.
- I believe you are an idiot and full of shit to not listen to those who are on the ground, day and night, charged with serving and protecting our city. People who see what young people are doing to each other and their neighbors and who know that a curfew is a good thing.
- Curfews save lives. Curfews keep the peace. Curfews lower murder rates.
The cop I talked to suggested I write you a letter. This is the first. There will be others. I want our city's kids to enjoy being outside and hangin' with their friends, but I also want to enjoy some peace and quiet after 10' o-clock at night. Any decent, respectful person would want the same.
Janet M. Kincaid
D.C. Taxpayer and Home Owner