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Washington D.C. Allocates More Than $270,000 to Re-Paint BLM Plaza Amid Rising Crime Rates – One America News Network

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Protesters Demonstrate In D.C. Against Death Of George Floyd By Police Officer In Minneapolis
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 05: People walk down 16th street after volunteers, with permission from the city, painted "Black Lives Matter" on the street near the White House on June 05, 2020 in Washington, DC. After seven days of protests in DC over the death of George Floyd, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has renamed that section of 16th street "Black Lives Matter Plaza". (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

OAN’s Abril Elfi
12:53 PM – Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Washington, D.C., is paying $270,000 to touch up the paint job on the “Black Lives Matter Plaza” amid rising crime rates.

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The district has implemented millions in budget cuts to the Metropolitan Police Department over the past several years and crime has spiked 40% since last year.

Zack Smith, a crime and justice expert at the Heritage Foundation, told the press that it is insulting that the mayor’s office wants to take crime rates seriously but still conducts budget cuts to public safety.

“It’s insulting on multiple fronts,” Smith said. “If the city council and the mayor’s office are serious about combating violent crime, protecting the lives hopefully of all citizens, but particularly black lives, then they would pour more money into public safety — particularly putting more police officers on the street.”

“Instead, it seems like the city is prioritizing performative gestures that really don’t have an impact on combating violent crime,” he said, adding it sends the “message that violent crime will be tolerated in the city.”

According to data released on Monday, the 34% increase in homicides in Washington over the previous year accounts for a significant portion of the 40% increase in violent crime. In the same period, there was a 68% increase in robberies.

Carjacking’s have increased 93% since last year, and thousands more have happened in addition to violent crime.

The District of Columbia Council approved a $526.1 million police budget for 2023, which despite being 1.7% lower than the previous year is almost $100 million less than the budget for 2020.

The fiscal 2023 proposal slashed millions from the Narcotics and Special Investigations and Criminal Investigations Division, though it is unclear what departments received the budget cuts.

The street art was first commissioned in 2020 by Mayor Muriel Bowser (D-D.C.), who pledged in 2021 to “transform” the Black Lives Matter Plaza for $4.8 million, with an additional $3 million to come. Judicial Watch recently requested access to public records, and the results show that $271,231 was spent on supplies and labor to repaint the letters.

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