UPDATE, 4:25 p.m.: The Washington, D.C. City Council on Tuesday voted to override Mayor Muriel Bowser's veto of the council's Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022.
Original story below
The Washington, D.C., City Council is voting Tuesday on whether or not it will override Mayor Muriel Bowser's veto of the body's controversial Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022, the Washington Examiner reported.
What are the details?
The bill decreases punishments for violent crimes such as carjackings, home invasion burglaries, robberies, and even homicides, the Washington Post reported.
But a Sunday piece by the paper's editorial board declared that the legislation could make D.C. "a more dangerous city."
More from the Post:
The bill eliminates life sentences and gets rid of mandatory minimums for every crime but first-degree murder. The maximum penalty for someone convicted of a violent felony while using a gun to commit more violence would drop to four years from 15 years. This is not an evidence-based approach to public safety. The data is clear that firearms offenders recidivate at higher rates and more quickly than those who committed crimes without guns.
The Examiner added that the "progressive council has defended the bill as making the law fairer and less racist, while numerous law and law enforcement figures have said it has the potential to open the floodgates of crime."
Fox News said Bowser raised red flags about the reduced penalties provisions when she vetoed the bill Jan. 3: "Any time there is a policy that reduces penalties, I think it sends the wrong message."
What if council overrides Bowser's veto?
If council overrides Bowser's veto and sends the bill to Congress, Fox News said federal lawmakers will have 60 days to review it. The cable network noted that Congress may enact a joint resolution during that time period that rejects the bill — and if President Joe Biden approves that resolution, the bill will be prevented from becoming law.
WTTG-TV reported last fall that D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III was opposed to the reduction of sentences the bill pushes forward: "If we’re reducing a sentence from 10 years down to five years, that makes the city less safe."
Contee was in the news last week as well after giving a fiery press conference addressing swirling rumors about the identity of a city employee and homeowner who fatally shot a 13-year-old black male he confronted at 4 a.m. over car break-ins.
Contee confirmed the man who pulled the trigger also is black, and the chief condemned "misinformation" and "allegations centered around race."
Specifically, a group went as far as posting a photo of a white man and a picture of Karon Blake — the fatally shot teen — implying the white man is the one who pulled the trigger.
"The fact that there’s misinformation swirling out there, and people are tying it to race and other things and putting images of innocent people out there next to young Karon saying that 'this is the person that’s responsible for that' — that’s reckless, and that’s dangerous," Contee said with a raised voice. "Imagine if that was your picture beside his, and people showed up at your house with half information. That’s unacceptable."
This story has been updated.
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