(SNews) – Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has abandoned the radical anti-police agenda she adopted during the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots as crime soars out of control in the nation’s capital.
On Monday, the Democrat mayor introduced new legislation to address skyrocketing crime in D.C.
Speaking from Ward Four, Bowser rolled out the proposal deemed the Addressing Crime Trends (ACT) Now Act.
The bill clarifies the distinction between a serious use of force and incidental contact with the neck, ensures officers can review their body-worn camera footage prior to writing their initial police report in certain circumstances, makes permanent clarification of vehicular pursuit, and defines what information will be posted publicly related to officer discipline.
“MPD continues to be a leader in fair and constitutional policing across this nation,” Bowser said in a statement.
“They continue to work every day to have and keep the trust of our city.
“And this legislation won’t change that.
“It will, however, support the department in dealing with some of the negative consequences of the Comprehensive Police Adjustment and Injustice Amendment Act.
“Some of the changes that were made just don’t match the daily practice of safe and effective policing.
“And whether that’s around incidental contact you can make with a person, or how officers can use their body-worn camera footage to write reports or whether police are allowed to safely chase a criminal who’s right in front of them[.]”
“Residents have expressed loud and clear to me in every venue you can imagine across this city that they are looking for solutions to help fill the gaps in our public safety ecosystem,” she continued.
“We promise to leave no stone unturned, but we need to act now, and we need to send the strong message that violence is not acceptable in our city.
“And this perception that people have that you can commit a brazen crime and get away with it has got to stop.
“This legislation will help change that.”
Bowser said the new legislation proposal aims to address “current crime trends,” saying some of the changes “are just plain common sense.”
The ACT Act aims to combat organized retail theft, address loitering around open-air drug markets, and make it unlawful to use masks for committing criminal acts.
“Under the new law, it will be illegal for any person to organize a theft-for-profit scheme by recruiting or directing other individuals to commit organized retail theft,” she said, referring to thieves in ski masks who frequently rob individuals and businesses at gunpoint.
“We are also reinstating the law that makes it unlawful for to wear a mask for the purpose of committing criminal acts or threatening people or causing fear.
“Obviously, our community’s relationship around wearing masks has changed significantly since 2020, and thank God for that.”
Bowser said the changes would not apply to people “who are wearing masks for their health.”
As for open-air drug dealing, Bowser said, “People in the community are not fools.
“They know what’s happening on some of these sites.”
“The new legislation will allow MPD to limit loitering by reinstating the ability for the police chief to declare a drug-free zone for up to 120 hours to disrupt and prohibit people from congregating on public space for the purchase, sale or use of illegal drugs,” she said.
“The establishment of a temporary drug-free zone will allow MPD and community members to work together to interrupt illegal activity and allow neighborhoods to reclaim our space.”
The mayor said the legislation would ensure a policy environment that better supports police officers in allowing them to make Washington, D.C., safer, as well as communities, victims, and the Metropolitan Police Department’s ability to hire and retain highly qualified officers.
In June 2020, Bowser had Black Lives Matter painted in bright yellow letters on the street that runs into the White House in a move seen by many to target President Donald Trump.
Bowser painted the street following George Floyd’s death, caused by a fatal fentanyl overdose, in Minneapolis.
Protesters soon added the message “defund the police” to the street mural.
It was seen in aerial images taken above the nation’s capital at the time.
Bowser notably changed her tune when she was up for re-election.
She tried to distance herself from the police-defunding stance promoted by progressive Democrats in the district after crime soared as a direct result of the movement.