Celebration and tragedy marked the Juneteenth weekend in the District. 15-year-old Chase Poole was shot and killed during Moechella—one of the most high-profile Juneteenth celebrations. Two other adults were injured by gunfire, and a D.C. police officer was sent to the hospital with a bullet in their leg.
Just before sundown on Sunday, a fight broke out among young people, and a loud noise sent frightened concertgoers running, the Post reports. Around 8:30 p.m., while police tried to shut down the event, which was scheduled to end at 8 p.m., shots rang out, killing Poole, who was in seventh grade. The officer has been released from the hospital, and the other two adults’ injuries are reportedly not life threatening.
Moechella, the free go-go concert/protest at 14th and U streets NW started in 2019. It’s the brainchild of Long Live GoGo founder Justin “Yaddiya” Johnson and is a tribute to Black culture and a protest of gentrification. The event, held in an area previously considered “Black Broadway,” featured New Impressionz, TOB, Big Nintendo, Adobo DMV’s Pedro Night, and Critical Condition Band.
A few hours before the violence at Moechella, another teen was shot and killed in Southeast. Taniya Jones, 16, was found fatally shot in an apartment in the 4400 block of Third Street SE. D.C. police think a gun accidentally went off as Jones and other teens were producing a video for social media, the Post reports. Other gun-related incidents in the D.C. area over the weekend, including shots fired at the Tysons Corner Center mall in Virginia on Saturday, already had District residents on edge.
D.C. police and Mayor Muriel Bowser have criticized Moechella organizers for failing to get a permit for the event. But officials were clearly well aware it was happening. Hundreds of police officers attended, and Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio promoted the event on local news heading into the weekend. Some local residents took to social media to criticize how city officials are framing Moechella, voicing concerns that go-go was being equated with violence, WUSA9 reports.
It’s Election Day!
• The biggest question for voters is who will occupy the mayor’s office for the next four years. Bowser is facing two major rivals: At-Large Councilmember Robert White and Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White. Some reading:
—Bowser’s challengers are running hard against developers. But how does that translate into policy?
—Bowser’s regret, and other takeaways from the televised mayoral debate.
• In Ward 1, former Metropolitan Police Department officer Salah Czapary and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Sabel Harris, who represents single member district 1B12, are looking to unseat Councilmember Brianne Nadeau. Some reading:
—As Salah Czapary’s campaign heats up, his Republican associates draw scrutiny.
—Bowser’s Green Team embraces Salah Czapary as his Ward 1 bid gains steam.
—Salah Czapary’s old police academy instructor doesn’t think he’s ready for the Ward 1 Council job.
• In Ward 3, Councilmember Mary Cheh’s decision to give up her seat opened the door for a nine-person field, though some candidates recently dropped out. The race is generally seen as a two-way competition between progressive pick Matt Frumin and Bowser-aligned Eric Goulet. Some reading:
—Erstwhile Republican Monte Monash wants to be the Ward 3 councilmember.
—Eric Goulet painted voucher holders as criminals during Ward 3 debate, attendees say.
—As outside money pours into the Ward 3 race, there’s a last-ditch effort to boost Frumin over Goulet.
• In Ward 5, four candidates are competing to replace Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, who gave up his seat to run for attorney general, only to get kicked off the ballot because he has not been “actively engaged” as an attorney and is therefore not qualified for the job, according to the D.C. Board of Elections. Some reading:
—Vincent Orange fights request to dismiss defamation lawsuit against Washington Business Journal, Reporter
—Orange facing blowback after attack of opponent Parker’s coming out.
—Parker supporters question Faith Gibson Hubbard and her ties to Bowser
—The national pro-charter school group Democrats for Education Reform are absent from the Ward 5 race, but finance reports offer clues to which candidates ed reformers prefer.
• In Ward 6, Councilmember Charles Allen is up for re-election, but is running unopposed.
• At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds is facing three opponents, and Chairman Phil Mendelson has attracted one challenger. Some reading:
—In a mailer, Bonds claimed an endorsement from someone backing her opponent.
—Will incumbents Bonds and Mendelson hang on?
• With McDuffie gone, the attorney general’s race is generally seen as a match-up between Brian Schwalb (backed by outgoing AG Karl Racine) and Bruce Spiva (who has support from D.C.’s progressive left). Some reading:
—Spiva, Schwalb jockey for progressive support in the upended attorney general race.
—Ambar Castillo and Mitch Ryals (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com)
- To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
- Vendors United called for decriminalization of unlicensed street vendors yesterday and endorsed Nadeau’s re-election for her support of the community. [WTOP]
- D.C. is reconsidering using schools as early voting sites in the November general election after parents voiced safety concerns. [Post]
- A multiday Juneteenth call for reparations culminated in a march on Saturday, national forum on reparations on Sunday, and Emancipation Day walkabout educational tour at the Mount Zion-Female Union Band Society cemeteries on Monday. [Facebook]
By Ambar Castillo (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)