D.C. police chief warns city not to 'coddle' criminals, says courts are 'not open'

Justice system "is not functioning the way that it should," he said.
D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee

Washington, D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee this week claimed that the nation's capitol city is "coddling" criminals, and that the courts meant to handle their crimes are "barely" open after a year and a half of the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic. 

The bracing criticism of the city's handling of crime came after a much-publicized shooting in the city's Logan Circle neighborhood this week; that neighborhood is one of the trendier areas of the district and is marked by restaurants and breweries among other attractions. 

"The justice system that we have right now is not functioning the way that it should," Contee told reporters. "The courts are not open. That is a fact. Barely open. So cases from last year, from 2020, that happened during COVID, of violent criminals—they have not been disposed of." 

"Where do you think those individuals are?" he continued. "They're in community."

Contee warned the city that it "cannot coddle violent criminals," and that violent crime "has been happening in communities all across the city."