DC Mayor’s Office Says Meeting with Deanwood Citizens Not Prompted by Murder

By Jim Allen, Editor, NuVote Reach

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DC Mayor Vincent Gray (D) on Monday will meet with members of the Deanwood Citizens Association who are outraged over the shooting death of Akinwole Olu Williams, 31, killed on Thursday of last week, near midnight, while walking the short distance from the Deanwood Metro Station to his home.

Doxie McCoy, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office, on Saturday, said prior to Williams’ murder, the mayor was engaged with the Deanwood Citizens Association and was scheduled to meet with the residents of that community the week prior, but was forced to postpone.

“So his visit was not prompted by murder [as indicated in the headline of an earlier report], though it is certain to come up,” said McCoy.

Deanwood representatives agree that they had been reaching out to the mayor for some time and fully expected the mayor to make time for them, as recently as the postponed meeting last week, and believe the Williams murder has indeed pressurized the situation.

“But [the murder of Mr. Williams] was not the initial driver of our desire to meet with the mayor, who clearly wants to meet with us, but we do not expect a postponement this week,” said one concerned Deanwood property owner, on Saturday.

“…Certainly he wants to be responsive to urgent community concerns about murder, other crime and whatever other issues residents want to address. So he looks forward to the dialogue,” added McCoy on Sunday.

Violent crimes have rocked this community, including the murder of Williams, who recently completed his bachelor’s degree studies at Catholic University, was considering law school and, meanwhile, worked at Comfort One Shoes, near Dupont Circle in NW DC.

On the night of his brutal slaying, Williams decided not to wait for his usual ride home from his brother (also his roommate) who was delayed at his job. He caught the Metro train home and was killed, by a still-unknown assailant by a shotgun blast to the chest, just steps from his apartment in the 1000 block of 44th Street NE, near I-295.

Deanwood community activists have secured a commitment from Gray to meet with them on Monday (March 25, at 6:30 p.m.) at the Deanwood Recreation Center at 1350 49th Street, NE to discuss the violence in that community and conditions which they believe are untenable to the peace and stability of the neighborhood.

“We want more police patrols, new bright lighting, clean streets and enforcement of housing codes to eliminate dilapidated, vacant homes,” said another Deanwood property owner, on Friday.

Sources say, Ward 7 DC Councilmember Yvette Alexander (D) is also expected to attend the Monday meeting.

Note: For more information about the Monday meeting in Deanwood with Mayor Gray, contact Adrienne Loftin at 301-706-9390.

About Jim Allen, Founder/Editor, NuVote Reach

Currently serving as Chief Operating Officer of Alejo Media, emerging as one of Washington, D.C.’s most artistic and innovative video production and post-production media companies. Previously, as Director of News and Media Services at the American Institute of Physics, he led the creation of the InsideScience.org news platform, which includes Inside Science TV. He also previously served as Media Director, Energy NOW! and Clean Skies TV and as Special Reports Editor/Media Relations Director at The Hill newspaper. Jim has served in various executive, business development and/or programming roles for a number of media concerns including CBS Radio/Television, Radio One Inc. and the Los Angeles Times. Since 1995, he has been a contributor to the Reporters Notebook news roundtable program on NBC 4 TV, DC. He earned a music scholarship to Delaware State University, a Bachelor of Arts in English/Television Production at Virginia State University and, from 2003-2007, attended Concord University School of Law. His commendations include the Washington, DC Teachers' Union Media Relations Award and shared an American Academy of Nursing National Media Award. Jim also chairs a development task force for the faith-based, non-profit House of Help/City of Hope, founded and led by Bishop Dr. Shirley Holloway, which has provided substance abuse, mental health and continuing education programs and transitional housing for tens of thousands of homeless (and battered) women, families and men (including ex-offenders) at its shelter and treatment facilities in Washington, DC and Prince George’s and Charles Counties, MD.
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