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Misplaced priorities
(Published July 30, 2001)

Ahmad Vaughn, Maurice A. Taylor, Kimberly A. Norris, Eugene Cruthfield, Anthony Leonard Burno, Lisa Ricard, Myron Morgan Jr., Melvin Turner and the list goes on.

Most of our readers wonít recognize the names of these D.C. residents, but we wouldnít be surprised if their grieving families and friends are wondering what the Metropolitan Police Department is doing to bring their killers to justice.

These eight young people ó and many others ó have lost their lives to violent crime on the streets of the nationís capital in recent weeks.

At the same time, the names of Police Chief Charles Ramsey and his sidekick, Executive Assistant Chief Terry Gainer, have become household words across the country as the highly paid duo appear eager to devote substantial time responding to tabloid television requests for information about the case of a 24-year-old government intern from California who was reported missing from her D.C. apartment in April. Police continue to say they have no evidence that a crime was committed in relation to Chandra Levyís disappearance.

On July 27 Chief Ramsey defended his departmentís handling of the Levy case on WAMUís "D.C. Politics Hour," asserting that only two police officers are assigned full time to the missing persons investigation. However, he didnít mention the dozens of police recruits who have been scouring the cityís wooded areas on a daily basis. Nor did he tell radio listeners that MPD has temporarily assigned additional personnel to answer hundreds of calls for information about the Levy case. In recent days, obviously weary MPD spokesmen have told The Common Denominator they "donít have time" to track down details about local non-fatal crimes.

We hope Ms. Levy, the mistress of a California congressman, eventually turns up alive and well. But her case ó whether she is dead or alive ó does not merit the attention MPD has chosen to give it unless they also devote the same effort to solving local crimes. D.C. taxpayers deserve MPDís respect.


Copyright © 2001 The Common Denominator