A Washington, D.C., firefighter paramedic said that she felt “less safe” responding to calls due to the district’s soft-on-crime policies.
Myisha Richards recounted an assault while she was responding to a call during her testimony before the House Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Government Surveillance at a hearing. Violent crime in the District of Columbia has increased by 40% from 2022, according to statistics posted by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
“The amount of assaults, violence, and shootings in the district are skyrocketing and it makes me feel less safe,” Richards told the subcommittee. “Just this week, my co-workers can be heard screaming over the radio for a 1033 because an agitated patient tried to climb into the driver’s compartment, maybe even trying to steal the ambulance. During all of this chaos, a gunshot wound victim was dropped — dropped off in the same place.”
Richard described being assaulted while on a call in her testimony, where she suffered a concussion and subsequently developed post-traumatic stress disorder.
“This year, I received a phone call from the DA telling me nothing was going to happen to the two women who assaulted me,” Richards said. “I was told that one of the women will receive community service not because of what she did to me, but because while in the process of prosecuting her for this crime, she picked up additional charges. The other woman’s charge would be dropped.”
The Federal prosecutors in the United States Attorney’s office declined to prosecute 67% of those arrested by local police in the District of Columbia who would have faced trial in D.C.’s Superior Court, according to the Washington Post.
The city has seen 218 homicides in 2023, compared to 203 through all of 2022, according to MPD data.
“I love this city, but we need to do better and our first responders need to feel safe,” Richards said. “The nation’s capital is no longer a place where firefighters and EMS workers can render care to those in need without the worry of becoming a patient themselves.”
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