Lenient Release Policies Get an Eight Year-Old Killed

You don’t need to look far to see the foreseeably gruesome results of criminal justice “reform” policies.  Among the favorites for “reformers” are an end to cash bail, probation instead of jail, and revocation hearings, if any, that are understanding for “technical” violations.

All three policies were at work in the latest child murder in Prince George’s County, Maryland, just across the Potomac River from where I live.

The Washington Post has the story:

Prince George’s County police arrested three men and charged them with murder in the fatal shooting of 8-year-old Peyton John “PJ” Evans, who was struck by a stray bullet last month when gunfire erupted outside a Landover apartment.

The rising third-grader was inside playing video games with his cousin when he was killed….

Police identified the three men arrested as Desmond Nkwocha, 21, and Mark Nkwocha, 23, who are brothers from Lanham, and 23-year-old George Shamman of East Riverdale….

After the initial shooting [in an ongoing feud] the night before PJ’s killing, Mark Nkwocha was arrested by Bladensburg police and accused of fleeing the scene of an accident, according to the charging documents. Court records show he was charged with marijuana-related offenses shortly after the Bladensburg arrest.

Hey, wait, pot is wonderful!  Just ask the “reform” crowd.  But I digress.

One day later — hours before PJ was killed — Mark Nkwocha called Shamman from jail and Shamman agreed to pick him up, according to call logs obtained by police detailed in court documents. Surveillance video shows a white Mercedes-Benz, owned by Shamman, later leaving the jail parking lot, police said.

Here’s the punch line, buried far down the Post’s story (emphasis added):

George Shamman does not appear to have a criminal arrest record in Maryland, according to state records online, but Desmond Nkwocha was arrested twice in 2020 on assault and gun charges and released both times. Court records also indicate he was sentenced to probation for a handgun charge in 2018 and was scheduled for violation hearings at least five times in the case since October 2020. Mark Nkwocha was released from jail just hours before the shooting that killed PJ, according to court records.

As you might imagine, the media took an interest in this case, and there was a press conference in which the “responsible” public officials quickly and reflexively turned to the usual suspects:

County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) joined Aziz and the boy’s mother Thursday at the news conference, where they discussed gun violence in the county — which has spiked during the pandemic, including among young people.

For sure, “gun violence” and “the pandemic,” blah, blah, blah.  When more pointed questions were asked, things went fuzzy:

When asked about the arrest record of Desmond Nkwocha [on gun charges], both the chief and the county executive did not directly address his two releases last spring. Alsobrooks said it was the police department’s job to investigate and make arrests, and her office’s job to create resources and programming that reduce gun violence.

How ’bout, instead of “creating resources” and “programming,” we just take violent hoodlums off the street and keep them off?  Oh, wait, that’s old-fashioned thinking.

At the news conference, PJ’s mother called the detectives who worked on her son’s case “family now” and said the chief personally delivered her the news of the arrests. He also gave her a gift — the handcuffs that were placed on one of the men arrested.

“They came and did their job and got justice for my kid,” she said. “I’m going to love and support them forever.”

I wish some of the enlightened folks from the NACDL, FAMM, the ACLU, Harvard, Yale and Stanford would talk to the mother.  Obviously she needs  to learn from the “experts” that the police aren’t the answer, they’re the problem.  How can she be so ignorant?

PJ was buried last week.




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