CRIME

D.C. homicides down in 2012, but some areas remain stubbornly violent

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With charts and graphs, D.C. mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier rolled out crime numbers that many would have though impossible years ago: There were only 88 homicides in 2012, down 18 percent from 2011.

It was down substantially from 1991, where there were a record 479 homicides and D.C. was called the murder capital.

Lanier pointed to the use of new technologies like crime cameras, among other things, to explain the huge drop.

"I think our use of technology has been very important,” Lanier says. “I think our gang intelligence unit has been fantastic in focusing on gang because gangs really drove our violent crime here."

Also, there were fewer guns used. She said of the 88 homicides, 59 involved a gun. The rest did not.

Still, the death list from a block like 13th Place and Congress in southeast is a long one.

Bonnie Scott’s son Brian Scott was the first homicide of 2011, killed as he went to give his cousin a ride. It’s still unsolved. His grandmother, the Reverend Joyce Scott calls the corner demonic.

The chief said it's still a problem but not the neighborhood.

"We focus on the people that are creating the violence and not a neighborhood," she says.

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