Maryland Blogger Alliance

Alliance FAQs

Latest MBA Posts

January 03, 2006

The bitch set him up?

(Updated below.)

You never want to make fun of a crime victim, but here's the ultimate test: Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington, D.C., and current council member, was robbed by "youths" at his southeast D.C. apartment.

D.C. Council member Marion Barry told reporters he was robbed at his Southeast apartment last night and he's grateful he wasn't hurt.

Barry told WRC-TV he gave a few individuals some money after they helped carry his groceries last night. After they left, they came back and robbed him at gunpoint. The youths took his wallet, which contained cash and credit cards, according to Barry.

Barry said the ordeal was traumatic.
As they say, DEVELOPING . . .

UPDATE: The Post now has its own article at the link above, and we learn this:
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department confirmed that Barry reported the robbery and said they were investigating it.

After helping him with groceries, Barry told Channel 4, "They left, then eight to 10 minutes they came back. . . . They had a pistol and pushed me in the kitchen and took my money," Barry said.

"Obviously, I'm traumatized," said Barry, 69. "To have a pistol cocked in your face is not something you cannot feel emotional about," said Barry.

"I hope that people out here will just hunt them down and let the police know who they are," Barry said.
I was actually wondering, based on the original AP article, whether Barry reported the crime to police or just to reporters.

And because when you're Marion Barry you just can get (and don't deserve) any respect, the article closes by reminding us of Barry's past and present transgressions:
Barry was videotaped by the FBI smoking crack cocaine in a downtown hotel room in 1990. He served a six-month prison sentence the following year, then was elected to a fourth term as mayor in 1994.

On Jan. 18, Barry is scheduled to face sentencing misdemeanor charges stemming from a guilty plea to charges that he failed to file his federal taxes in 2000.
The bitch is still setting him up.

UPDATE: The current version of the Post article, found at the same link, is dated 4:52 p.m. and now has a different byline: Del Quentin Wilber instead of I forget who.

The new lead is:
D.C. Council member Marion Barry today urged the two young men who he said robbed him at gunpoint in his own kitchen Monday night to turn themselves in, but pledged he would ask authorities not to prosecute them.
"I could see my life flash before me at that moment," Barry told a handful of reporters at the John A. Wilson Building. The robbers, described as teenagers, fled Barry's apartment with his wallet, which he said contained more than $200 in cash, two credit cards and his driver's license.

"To this young man who did this to me, I have no animosity," Barry said. "I don't even want you prosecuted. I love you. Give yourself up. Call the police. Let them know that you engage in these activities. I will do all to advocate non-prosecution."
The wallet has been found, minus cash, and turned in to police, reducing the likelihood, but not totally eliminating the possibility, that the more skeptical observers are right -- that somehow the bitch is setting us up.

According to Barry, the youths' extortion, which turned into robbery, is not uncommon in his neck of the woods:
The incident began about 9 p.m. Monday when Barry returned from shopping for groceries at a Safeway store in Southwest Washington. He parked outside his apartment building in the 2600 block of Douglas Place SE and popped his trunk.

Two young men, whom Barry said he did not recognize, then asked the former mayor if they could help him carry his groceries upstairs. "Mr. B, can we help you with your groceries," one of the young men asked.

Barry said such requests were common.

"When I go home, in the evening or come out in the morning or weekend, the young people are all over me, asking for money, begging for money," Barry said. " 'Give me a dollar, give me five dollars.'
So I try to make a practice of making them work for what they get . . . whenever I have groceries, laundry or boxes or other things to take up to my apartment, I do that as a matter or course. Last evening was no exception."
So Barry gave the teenagers several bags of groceries to carry and chatted with them in his apartment, before they left. Barry then describes what happened next:
The youths left. About 15 minutes later, they returned to Barry's apartment.

"I just let them in. That's how we do it over there. At least that's how I do it," Barry said. "They had a gun and pointed it at my face and pushed me into the kitchen."

The youths then fled with Barry's wallet.
So, if we review the bidding, here's what we see: In Marion Barry's neighborhood, teenagers hang out on the street and demand money from him. He gives it to them if they do small jobs for him. He sees nothing wrong with letting them into his apartment. When these teenaged extortionists pull a gun on him in his own apartment and rob him, he asks them to turn themselves in to police to "[l]et them know that you engage in these activities," and declares that he will ask that they not be prosecuted.

If you want to know what was wrong with Washington, D.C., during Marion Barry's four terms (aside from corruption), consider his policy on crime: 1. Let threatening teenagers hang around on the streets and try to extort money from elderly residents. 2. Treat these teenagers as if they are non-threatening. 3. When they commit actual violent crimes, ask them simply to identify themselves to the police but announce you will not prosecute them.

Too bad for Mr. Barry that he's no longer Mayor, or he could extend his crime policy to point 4. Give them jobs with the city government.