DC Mayor Bowser is pushing a nineteen page piece of legislation called Addressing Crime Trends Now Act [ACT Now], Council Bill 250555.
There are four parts of the ACT Now Bill:
Amend the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Amendment Act:
This was a “racial justice” motivated bill passed in response to nationwide BLM riots. It was passed by the DC Council on December 20th, 2022 and went into affect on January 19th, 2023. Nearly half of the text of ACT Now is amendments to deal with the “unintended consequences” of this legislation. Muriel Bowser says the bill was well intentioned but has made resident less safe.
Wearing a mask or otherwise hiding your face will be illegal if the purpose is to commit a crime or intimidate, threaten, or harass another person.
Organized retail theft:
A new felony charge is created called “organized retail theft.” This applies to a person acting in concert with at least one other person to steal merchandise to resell it or fraudulently return it. The value of the merchandise must be at least $1,000 within 90 days.
There are two new ways to be charged with felony first-degree theft. Currently, the value of the stolen merchandise must be over $1k. This would amend the law to include theft of ten or more items valued at over $250 within thirty days. Or, a person could be charged if they commit an assault during the theft or destroy store property.
The police will be allowed to disperse groups in designated drug-free zones. Individuals who are “known unlawful drug users, possessors, or sellers” can be fined $300 for congregating in these areas. The chief of police can order that an area be cleared for up to 120 hours if the purpose is to prevent the selling of drugs.
The bill also calls for a study on the impact of the previously passed Street Vendor Advancement Amendment Act that decriminalized street vending starting on July 1st, 2023.
A habitually looted CVS in the Columbia Heights district of Washington, DC, has become a media favorite. The Washington Post, the New York Post, and local DC news affiliates continue to churn out new articles.
However, National Conservative is the only place where the whole story has been reported. This particular CVS is so hard hit because of the Street Vendor Advancement Amendment Act of 2023. Washington, DC, decriminalized illegal street vending for social justice. They also created a cop-free, anything-goes street vending zone right outside the CVS.
Anyone can sell merchandise on the street. It doesn’t matter if they are a known criminal and have been charged with trafficking in stolen goods in the past. The Washington, DC, police force does not patrol these street vendors. Instead, the city pays a non-profit organization to handle disputes. The result is that the CVS is being looted continuously, and residents say the stolen goods are being sold on the street right in front of the CVS.