FACT CHECK: Is Violent Crime Up 33 Percent In D.C.?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Twitter by Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene purports violent crime is up 33% in Washington, D.C.

Verdict: True

Data from Washington D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department shows a 33% change in violent crime from 2022 to 2023.

Fact Check:

D.C. Police Union Chairman Gregg Pemberton said emergency crime legislation passed by the D.C. City Council is a “drop in the bucket” in relation to an increase in violent crime, according to local outlet Fox 5. Anti-violence advocate Jawanna Hardy also expressed concern over the bill, saying it doesn’t address the real problem of curbing juveniles’ access to guns, WJLA reported.

“Violent crime is up 33% in DC and now they are cracking down on crime by treating any one who shoots a gun as a felon,” the Twitter post, shared by Greene and viewed over 200,000 times, purports. The post further claims Matthew Graves, the U.S. attorney responsible for prosecuting crime in D.C., targets January 6 protestors instead of combating violent crime and should be impeached as a result.

Greene also said Graves lets 67% of criminals in D.C. go free but did not provide a source to support the claim.

The claim that violent crime is up 33% in D.C. is true, according to data from D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department. The data, which is up-to-date as of 12:00 a.m. on Jul. 13, shows a 33% change in violent crime from 2022 to 2023. The department’s 2022 crime totals were 2,021, while its 2023 crime totals are currently 2,689.

The data is referenced in a Jul. 13 article published by Axios, which reiterates that D.C. is experiencing a “violent year.” The article also reveals that a majority of violent crime victims in the state are children, with 66 juveniles having been shot and 12 having been killed as of late June.

In addition, the data follows emergency legislation passed by the D.C. City Council aimed at combating violent crime earlier this week, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Did More People Move Out Of Florida Than New York And California?)

The Prioritizing Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2023, sponsored by Democratic City Council Member Brooke Pinto, makes provisions such as removing the rebate cap for a private security camera incentive program, expediting cases involving a child victim, creating a new standalone offense for strangulation, and more.

Only one city council member did not vote in favor of the bill, Axios indicated. Once signed by Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser, the bill will be in effect for 90 days. Bowser had previously proposed a similar bill back in May 2023, according to a press release from her office.

The bill Bowser proposed would make the provisions permanent and is set to be considered by the D.C. City Council later this year, Axios reported.

Furthermore, Graves did not prosecute 67% of individuals arrested in D.C. in 2021, according to a Mar. 29 article from Fox News.

Check Your Fact has contacted the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter