(BrightPress.org) – Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is changing her tune on George-Floyd-style police reforms with new laws that will supposedly empower police to address the rampant criminal activity sweeping the nation’s capital.
Bowser explained the Addressing Crime Trends (ACT) Now Act during a speech from Ward Four. The legislation clarifies police use of force as distinct from general body contact, ensures police can use their body cam footage to inform their written reports, and makes alterations to vehicular pursuit policies which would make it easier for cops to bust criminals who attempt evasion.
Bowser said that residents have complained to her “in every venue you can imagine” about the rising crime trend. In her speech, she promised to use every tool at her disposal and said that the rule change would be an immediate aid to address the problem of raging crime.
She further said that the perception that brazen criminal acts would go unpunished has to stop and that the ACT Now Act is a means to that end. She said that the changes provided for in the act are “common sense.”
The law will curb retail theft, and target open-air drug markets by making loitering in specific locations prohibited while adding additional penalties for criminals who wear masks while engaging in crime.
Bowser said they are targeting the theft-to-black-market pipeline to make organized criminal activity less profitable for those who engage in it. She also said that now there is not as pressing a need to wear face coverings. The social normalization of wearing facial masks has been a boon to criminals. Bowser said anyone using ski masks or other types of masks to conceal their identity during a robbery will face additional penalties when caught.
The police chief will have the authority to declare temporary drug-free zones for up to 120 hours to break up open-air drug markets that have been popping up around the city. She said this would let the community and police reclaim public spaces.
Many have pointed out that Bowser was a prolific left-wing supporter of defunding the police, and that her marginally tougher-on-crime stance is only emerging to coincide with her re-election campaign.
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