D.C. homicide rates rise in 2015, most cases unsolved


    DC shooting suspect (WJLA photo)

    The Metropolitan Police Department Friday released numbers showing that fewer than half of the city's 84 homicides so far in 2015 have been closed with arrests. On Thursday, Police Chief Cathy Lanier, appealed to the public at a news conference to help identify gunmen caught on video in a July 4 gun battle in the 2600 block of Douglass SE in Washington, that resulted in a homicide. She said authorities had arrested three subjects so far, but were still looking for a fourth.

    Delroy Burton, chairman of the DC Fraternal Order of Police, said officers and detectives have a particularly difficult job in urban settings where people are afraid to be seen talking with police for fear of retaliation. Since 2011, police have seen the homicide closure rate drop from 95 percent to 55 percent Friday, according to numbers released by a police spokeswoman. And even those numbers put together under the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) uniform crime reporting standard, suggests a higher closure rate than the city actual has. That standard counts homicides in a given year and arrests in that year, even in the arrests for homicides committed in previous years.

    MPD released numbers Friday showing that there have been 84 homicides so far this year and 33 arrests involving those 84 homicides, which calculates to a closure rate of 39 percent.

    Friends and family members of murdered journalist, Charnice Milton held a rally Thursday evening, calling on police to solve her murder. She was reportedly returning from covering a news event and was killed as she waited at a bus stop on Good Hope Road, when a man at the bus stop used her as a human shield between himself and a gunman on a bicycle who was shooting at him.

    Ralph Chittams, a friend of Milton's family said in an interview Friday, they're not sure if the case is still being investigated. They're holding rallies to keep the case in the public and the authorities attention.

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