Crime in Washington, D.C., is spiking in a neighborhood that, up until recently, was growing in popularity and recovering from decades of violence, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
Many residents in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington are too afraid to walk alone even during the day, and one resident said that she spends weekends with her daughter in Maryland because she feels endangered by the rising crime, according to the WSJ. Shaw, a relatively wealthy neighborhood with million-dollar condos and trendy restaurants, has had a 110% increase in violent crime since 2022, police data showed.
“People don’t want to come hang out in Shaw anymore, period,” Steven Cassell, a landlord in the neighborhood, told the WSJ. “There’s just a ton of investment that’s going down the tubes.”
Business owners in the area reported that they have experienced less foot traffic over the past year, and one business told the WSJ that they intend to leave the area after their lease expires. Another business owner reported that she and a customer were standing outside of her store when a man began running around with a knife and threatened to stab a passerby.
“We just stood there and screamed,” Wanda Henderson, the business owner, told the WSJ.
Violence and crime has escalated across the city, as violent crime has gone up nearly 40% and arson has increased by 125%, according to police data. So far this year, 217 people have been murdered and 2,674 people have been robbed.
Retail theft has also exploded across the city, causing some supermarkets to lock up products like deodorant and toothpaste, and forcing others to resort to removing products like Tide and Advil from their shelves entirely. One CVS in the Columbia Heights neighborhood, just half a mile away from Howard University, remains open despite having almost no inventory left to sell after being robbed daily by large groups of kids before and after school. “I’m not safe,” Leola Smith, a D.C. resident, told the WSJ. “Nobody is safe around here.”
The D.C. police department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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