Crime wave in the US: Concerns growing over public safety

Crime is on the rise in the US, exacerbated by a policing problem, and this is turning into a political hot potato for President Joe Biden and his Democratic Party.

In America, crime comes in waves – and is a problem for Democrats

It is the kind of Twitter alert that is almost par for the course on daily basis in any city in the US.

“ARMED CARJACKING W/G-WAGON TAKEN... (Police Department) on scene investigating an armed carjacking with an individual having their Mercedes G-Wagon taken by two individuals armed with a gun.”

America is in the midst of a crime problem which over the years appears to come in waves.


A brush with juvenile crime and tragedy in the nation’s capital

The knock on my door came one afternoon in the dead of winter, in January 2020.

On the other side was a detective with Washington DC’s Metropolitan Police Department. He promptly placed a folded document in my hands, informing me that I had been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury as a witness.

What I had, according to the paper signed by a federal prosecutor, was “knowledge or information relevant to an investigation” into the death of a homeless man just two blocks from my home in the heart of the bustling U Street corridor.


Gun control advocacy consistently outspent by pro-firearms lobby

After each mass shooting in America, calls for guns to be more tightly regulated come like clockwork from Democratic lawmakers and gun control advocates.

But the massive war chest of the powerful US gun lobby, which includes gun rights groups like the high-profile National Rifle Association (NRA) and the US$20 million (S$26 million) firearms industry, is a key obstacle to passing gun laws that could reduce such massacres.

The gun lobby’s millions of dollars, which dwarf similar expenditures from gun control groups, are spent on lobbying and campaign contributions to influence federal and state politicians in favour of pro-gun laws.


In Washington DC, the kids are not all right 

In March 2021, two teenage girls armed with a stun gun tried to carjack Mr Mohammad Anwar, an UberEats delivery driver working near a baseball stadium a short drive from the White House.

The car crashed and flipped during the struggle that ensued between the girls, aged 13 and 15, and their 66-year-old victim, who landed on the sidewalk and later died of his injuries in hospital.

The case shocked the nation’s capital because of the youth of the carjackers.


Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.