26 January 2006

This Time, Word Got Out

And this time, thank god, it looks like the victim will survive. This afternoon, 16 year old Montell Womack was hit by a stray bullet while riding home from school on the 86 bus. Right now the news reports are vague and somewhat innacurate (the robbery and shooting actually occured at 18th and Rhode Island Avenue, NE, starting at Rhode Island Liquors), but they are out there. I hope to get a Washington Post link soon. According to Womack's father, Montell had his arm up - perhaps propping his head up - and that made all the difference. The bullet went into Montell's forearm, shattering arteries and bone.

UPDATE: Here's the WaPo link - a bit more detailed than the others.

I had every intention of writing a post about the Listening Session I attended last night at the Woodridge Library; instead I am writing about another senseless crime in my neighborhood...directly across the street from the public library. While I'm aware of the apparent idealism inherent in my belief that we should be able to move about our communities safely, I am certain of my realistic incredulousness at the fact that I may now feel safer in Adams Morgan than in my own neighborhood.

Sure, I spend time in Adams Morgan, and I'd prefer to do so in relative safety, but I spend far more time at home. According to the WaPo article linked above:
A spate of crimes outside Adams Morgan clubs and bars, including two assaults in which victims were left in critical condition, has prompted police to plan greater deployment in the area of 18th Street NW, they said yesterday.

Larry McCoy, commander of the 3rd Police District, said the number of officers will grow to as many as 23, up from five to 10 on a typical Thursday, Friday or Saturday night.

McCoy said that the officers will be moved from other shifts in the 3rd District and that they will be on foot, in cars and on scooters. The officers will patrol the main strip and side streets, he said.

"We're going to get this under control and make sure people can come into Adams Morgan and not have any fear," McCoy said at a news conference organized by D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1).


  • Can anyone tell me the last time a "spate of crimes" in Districts 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 prompted an increased police deployment? This is not rhetorical or snarky, I truly want to know....Sursum Corda comes to mind. But that "crackdown" has transformed into a buyout as of late.
  • How do residents in other parts of Ward 3 feel, losing as many as 18 officers on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays?
  • What does it feel like to have 10 cops patrolling your neighborhood? Hell, what does it feel like when they arrive after a 311 call? I've yet to find out.
  • When will the violence be under control in my neck of the woods - or yours?
  • When will we, our family, our friends, and passersby "not have any fear?"

My warmest thoughts and prayers are with Montell Womack and his family.

09 January 2006

Shhhh....I've Got a PostSecret

That's right, Tony, Tiffany, Chris, and I finally made it out to the PostSecret exhibit (along with 1/8 of the DC metropolitan population) during its last breaths. What is prompting me to write this post, more than the exhibit itself, is DCist's "Out and About: Weekend Picks" from this past Friday. Just read Saturday and the three comments. Then, commence being flabbergasted just like I was/am.

The objectives of both the PostSecret project and exhibit are perhaps innumerable. One intention that stands out to me, however, is reminiscent of the art of folks like Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, and Howard Finster. Words are an integral part of each artist's oeuvre (my goodness, flabbergasted and oeuvre, all in one post?). The few times I've seen Kruger and Finster's work in a museum, I was compelled to stop and read. Other people were doing the same. That is the nature of viewing public - and often confessional or narrative - art. Kudos to Frank Warren and everyone with a secret to share!