Two Washington, D.C.-area girls, ages 13 and 15, were charged over the weekend for the death of an UberEats driver when they attempted to carjack his vehicle.
The girls attacked Mohammad Anwar, 66, an immigrant from Pakistan, with a taser last week, made off with his vehicle, and promptly crashed it, killing Anwar in the process.
The girls are being charged with felony murder.
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has yet to address the incident itself, but instead released a short clip on Sunday morning listing five tips that drivers can take to avoid the rising spate of carjackings in the nation’s Capital.
The tips were:
- Park in a safe spot
- Lock your car
- Keep track of your keys
- Never leave your engine running
- Stay alert
In short, if you get carjacked it’s probably your own fault — just like if a woman gets raped, it’s because of something she said, the way she looked at her attacker, or the hem of her skirt was too high. (sarcasm added)
This prompted a response from The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway.
"DC's @MayorBowser, who encouraged months of 'Defund the Police' riots in DC last year, responds to the murder of UberEats driver Mohammad Anwar by 13- and 15-year-old female carjackers with a shockingly tone-deaf message of how to prevent auto thefts in her city," she wrote.
This would also be the same Mayor Bowser who less than a year ago renamed 16th Street, which sits in front of Lafayette Park near the White House, "Black Lives Matter Plaza," and directed city crews to deface the pavement with graffiti stating "BLACK LIVES MATTER" in huge yellow block letters.
And this would be the same District of Columbia that has a history of making it nearly impossible to legally purchase a firearm — let alone acquire a concealed carry permit to protect yourself from similar attacks.
Emmy-award winning writer, director, and producer Melissa Jo Peltier replied that those five "tips" won’t necessarily stop a carjacker if he’s truly committed to carrying it out.
"In LA '94, I was carjacked, kidnapped at gunpoint, assaulted & brutally beaten to blackout by a gun butt, breaking my zygomatic arch & permanently altering my face," she said. "Car was parked on a quiet, upscale residential street. LOCKED. The gun to my head was their key."
Bowser later deleted the video from Twitter.
Film producer Tariq Nasheed, who refers to himself as "the world’s #1 Race Baiter," adding "I bait racists," responded to the conversations regarding a CNN story of the botched carjacking and focused on CNN’s description of the victim’s death as "accidental."
"I see Trailer Park Twitter is fake upset with the word ‘accident’ in this story,” he wrote. "The reality is, it’s was a dumb car jacking that turned into an accidental death. It appears the suspects did not INTEND on committing murder."
But intent isn’t an element to felony murder. Any death that occurs during the commission of a violent felony—such as a carjacking—is felony murder.
The classic example is where law enforcement officers engage two or more criminals during the course of a felony, and the police shoot and kill one of them. The remaining felons can be charged with felony murder in many jurisdictions.
Author and lawyer Jill Filipovic brought everything back into focus.
"Just unbelievable," she wrote. "Even if Mohammed Anwar had not been recently killed in one of these carjackings, the onus is not on the victims of crimes to 'protect your auto.' Carjackings are a huge problem in DC, and it's often delivery drivers (who are often immigrants) who are targeted."
And sure enough, two days after the UberEats driver was killed, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department announced that they’d arrested two other teens for another armed carjacking.
This time it was two boys—ages 13 and 14—and instead of a taser, they were armed with a knife. They assaulted the victim and drove off in his vehicle. Police arrested them shortly afterwards.
The District of Columbia has had a crime problem long before Bowser became mayor. But blaming the victim isn’t going to put an end to it.
Neither will denouncing her police officers, defacing the streets with BLM graffiti, nor keeping the school doors locked and city athletic programs closed.
That can only come by a strong police department and delivering a message that criminal behavior won’t be tolerated — no matter what the age of the offender.
And that’s why the vast majority of jurisdictions have felony murder laws. And being young, stupid, or both should never be legal defenses.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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