Washington D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday she is directing the city’s police department to use as much overtime as is necessary to combat gun violence following a bloody weekend in which a 6-year-old girl was killed by gunfire and shots were fired outside a Major League Baseball stadium.
Bowser announced her directive in a letter to the City Council.
“Over the past year, the District of Columbia has been grappling with a sustained increase in gun violence,” Bowser wrote. “The terrible incidents of this past weekend, including the tragic murder of six-year-old Nyjah Courtney, illustrates how far we still must go to address the brazen shooters in our neighborhoods.”
The announcement comes amid a spike in crime across the city. As of Monday, the Metropolitan Police Department reported 103 killings. The city experienced 198 for all of 2020, according to police figures.
Bowser wrote that community members impacted by gun violence want to see a sustained police presence.
“My charge to our police officers is to keep our communities safe and bring to justice those responsible for terrorizing our neighborhoods, threatening our families, and harming our residents, the mayor said.
She added the city needs to adequately staff its police force.
“Expanding and maintaining these increased police deployments in our communities during a year of no police hiring requires a corresponding increase in overtime,” Bowser wrote. “But while the use of overtime is a necessary tool, it is not an ideal solution as it results in the burnout of officers.
Fans jump into a camera well after hearing gunfire from outside Nationals Park during a Saturday baseball game between the San Diego Padres and the Washington Nationals. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post via AP)
In addition to Courtney’s death, a Saturday night MLB game between the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres was suspended after a shooting outside Nationals Park during the top half of the sixth inning. Three people were wounded during the chaos, sending players into their dugouts and prompting fans to take cover and flee the stadium.
The shooting resulted from an exchange of gunfire between people in two vehicles, authorities said.
No arrests have been made in either shooting.