DOJ Caves to Commissioner Krepp

U.S. Attorney Makes Crime Data Available, Lawsuit Dropped

A Hill East commissioner won her fight with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for prosecution data on Dec. 14, more than a year after her initial request for the information.

U.S. Attorney for DC Channing D. Phillips agreed to give ANC Commissioner Denise Krepp (6B10) the prosecution data for each Police District in return for Krepp dropping the case following a hearing in DC Courts. Krepp asked for prosecution data by ward in the summer of 2015, and filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in November of that year. The DOJ claimed it doesn’t track prosecution of crimes in the District.

But in July of 2016, the DOJ compiled and sent the prosecution data it denied existed — to U.S. Senator and Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee Charles Grassley (R-IA). Grassley in turn reprimanded the DOJ for not giving the same information to Krepp.

“Because of the Department’s stonewalling and its imposition of unnecessary, bureaucratic hurdles, Ms. Krepp and the residents of her neighborhood have been deprived of access to important information,” Grassley wrote in an October letter to Phillips. “The Department is wastefully expending taxpayer dollars to engage in needless litigation.”

Krepp, with the help of attorney John Williams, followed through with a lawsuit she filed in May of 2016 and successfully obtained the data on Dec. 14.

“DOJ has processes in place to provide the prosecution data if requested by a DC resident, member of Congress, or press,” Krepp said in a letter to neighbors that day.

She added: “For over a year, DOJ spent tens of thousands of dollars fighting to with-hold prosecution data from the light of day. It is my hope that the next person who requests this information receives it in a more timely fashion and without having to go to court.”

Phillips downplayed the yearlong dispute as something that should never have happened and refused to call the information handed over to Krepp a fulfillment of her FOIA request, in a letter to Krepp and her attorney. He said the DOJ stands by its claim that the records Krepp requested don’t exist.

“We have agreed to provide this information to you solely to spare the Court from having to spend any additional time on a case that we believe never should have been brought in the first place,” Phillips wrote.

What the Data Shows

The data (attached to this story below) shows prosecution numbers from 2010-2015 for DC as a whole and for each of the seven police districts. It lists data for Homicide, First Degree Sexual Abuse and Child Sexual Abuse, Aggravated Assault, Robbery, Burglary and Arson.

Overall, the data shows:

Robbery

  • 12% of cases were “no-papered”
  • 61% of cases ended in “conviction” (of that, 11% was through trial, 89% through plea)

Burglary

  • 9% of cases were “no papered”
  • 72% of cases ended in “conviction” (of that, 7% was through trial, 93% through plea)

Aggravated Assault

  • 10% of cases were “no papered”
  • 60% of cases ended in “conviction” (of that, 25% was through trial, 75% through plea)

In the First District, the data shows:

Robbery

  • 9% of cases were “no papered”
  • 66% of cases ended in “conviction” (of that, 9% was through trial, 91% through plea)

Burglary

  • 7% of cases were “no papered”
  • 73% of cases ended in “conviction” (of that, 3% was through trial, 97% through plea)

Aggravated Assault

  • 13% of cases were “no papered”
  • 62% of cases ended in “conviction” (of that, 27% was through trial, 73% through plea)
AttachmentSize
DOJ Crime Statistics.pdf1.37 MB

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