DC business owner slams city leaders for out-of-control crime: 'Lack courage' to 'be more aggressive'

Business owners and community leaders in one Washington, D.C. neighborhood sounded off about violent crime “terrorizing” residents after a deadly shooting rocked their community last weekend.

“It’s just a continuous tragedy,” ANC (Advisory Neighborhood Commission) chairwoman for Shaw, Rachelle Nigro told The Washington Post. “Residents who have lived in that area have been terrorized for decades with violence… How much can this community take?”

Two people were killed and five people were injured in the deadly shooting in Shaw over the weekend and the suspect has yet to be identified. One business owner blamed city leaders for not being aggressive enough on crime.

“It’s sickening, and I’m tired,” Cedric Maupillier, owner of French bistro Convivial, told The Post. “The only people to blame are the people who run the city.”

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Business owners in Washington D.C. warned about an “alarming” trend of violence. (Getty Images)

Maupillier said he is struggling to keep his business open because of violence in the neighborhood. Shootings in the area have driven customers away and prompted two of his employees to quit.

He blamed DC officials for not taking a tougher stance on crime.

“They lack courage to change and be more aggressive toward the people that create crimes,” he told The Post. “Police can’t do anything. We don’t do anything about petty crime anymore.”

Business leaders wrote a letter to Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser earlier this month warning about an “alarming increase in violent crime across our city.” Days later, lawmakers in the district passed a sweeping anti-crime bill intended to crack down on violent crime and theft.

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DC Mayor Muriel Bowser defended the district in a recent interview with Axios, saying that crime is trending downward. (Getty Images)

The Secure DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2024 — which includes more than 100 proposals to fight crime, including ramping up gun violence penalties and adding punishments for organized retail theft, according to FOX 5 DC — was passed by the D.C. Council in a 12-1 vote on March 5.

Mayor Bowser signed the crime bill into law on March 11.

Maupillier was skeptical the law would help bring down crime. “I don’t believe in politics. I want people to actually do the job they say they’re going to do,” he told The Post.

Sheena Berry, an advisory neighborhood commissioner in Shaw, also feared the new anti-crime bill would bring a “false illusion to safety,” saying that the problems with crime wouldn’t be solved with “one bill.”

Mayor Bowser defended the city’s reputation in a recent interview with Axios. Crime has been trending downward in DC this year, she said, citing a 17-percent drop in violent crime and 12-percent drop in overall crime according to police data.

Fox News’ Jeffrey Clark contributed to this report.

Kristine Parks is an associate editor for Fox News Digital. Read more.

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