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After Arlington native’s murder, Virginia AG blasts D.C. officials

View of the D.C. monuments and skyline from a flight arriving at DCA (file photo)

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares (R) has sent a scathing letter to D.C.’s mayor and city council today, accusing them of jeopardizing public safety due to lax law enforcement.

The letter follows the stabbing death of an Arlington woman in a D.C. hotel room this past weekend. The Yorktown High School alum was pronounced dead in the room and the suspect, a 43-year-old man with an extensive criminal history, was taken into custody and charged with murder.

The suspect was released from jail by a judge this winter following an alleged armed robbery in October, NBC 4 reported.

“The letter is a direct response to the tragic murder of Christy Bautista over the weekend,” the Attorney General’s office said in a press release that also accuses D.C. officials of an “inability and refusal to enforce their public safety laws and address their crime spike.”

In the letter, Miyares writes that “due to the proximity of our communities, D.C.’s crime problem has become Virginia’s crime problem.”

Republicans in Congress have been on the offensive against D.C.’s government, accusing the District of being soft on crime.

With Democratic votes and President Biden’s signature, a D.C. crime bill that reduced the maximum sentence for carjacking, among other changes, was overturned last month. Meanwhile, GOP members grilled D.C. officials on crime during a House committee hearing last week.

There’s some debate over the actual direction of crime rates in the District, with news headlines this year like “Crime in D.C. dropped in 2022” and “Despite Falling Violent Crime, Some Adams Morgan Residents Say They Feel Less Safe” contrasting with “After violent weekend, D.C. homicides up 40 percent over last year.”

Miyares’ full letter is below.

Dear Mayor Bowser and City Council Members:

It has become painfully apparent that Washington, D.C., can protect neither its residents nor the thousands of Virginians who commute daily to the city for work or entertainment. As the chief law enforcement officer for the Commonwealth of Virginia, I feel responsible for the safety of all 8.642 million Virginians.

Unfortunately, due to the proximity of our communities, D.C.’s crime problem has become Virginia’s crime problem.

I refuse to stand by quietly as you continue to deny, reject, and refuse to address your very prevalent crime spike that is impacting D.C. residents and its visitors and commuters. Your unwillingness to enforce your laws and hold violent offenders responsible puts your residents and mine at risk.

Over the weekend, Christy Bautista, an innocent young woman from Virginia, was murdered in the supposed safety of her hotel room less than an hour after checking in to attend a concert in your city. A Capitol Hill staffer was brutally attacked in broad daylight. Over the summer, a young Arlington woman was harassed on the metro, and countless Virginians have been murdered in D.C. over the last three years, including Aaron Bourne, Kenithy Manns, Christian Gabriel Monje, and Ahmad Clark.

Yet, D.C. Council Chairman Mendelson recently denied that D.C. had a crime crisis. According to the Metropolitan Police Department, D.C. has seen two consecutive years of over 200 homicides — a distinction the city hasn’t reached in nearly two decades. In addition, carjackings have been steadily rising for the last five years. Homicides in Washington, D.C., have increased by 31% since this time last year, sexual assault increased by 84%, and motor vehicle theft has increased by 107%. In general, crime in 2023 has risen by 23%.

Washington, D.C., is dealing with a crime explosion. Actions speak louder than words — and the only actionable items taken by Washington D.C. leadership have been ways to lessen criminal penalties, further fostering an environment for criminal activity. There is no deterrent for illegal behavior in Washington, D.C., as these repeat offenders know they will either not be charged or let back on the streets in no time.

That’s why we lost Christy Bautista. D.C.’s lenient policies and perspectives are responsible for her murderer’s release when he should have been in custody. An innocent woman lost her life to someone who should have been in jail.

Her murder is a tragedy that should have never happened.

To keep our communities safe — Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia – we need to work together to address the issue of rising crime. But that means acknowledging it is a problem and committing to finding a solution rather than sweeping it under the rug.

Our nation’s Capital should be a beacon of hope and freedom for the entire world, not known as a place where attending a concert can end one’s life. I urge the city’s leadership to address the scourge of violent crime that is growing more intolerable by the day.


Jason S. Miyares

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