DC Mayor Says 'Don't Be So Down on DC' After Murder Spike

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)
March 19, 2024

Muriel Bowser, the Democratic mayor of Washington, D.C., on Monday downplayed concerns about the district’s high crime rates.

"Don't be so down on D.C.," Bowser said when asked about the crime surge at the Axios What’s Next Summit Monday night. Bowser, who is in her third term leading the nation’s capital, has faced growing scrutiny over her handling of the district’s crime spike. In 2023, while many cities saw crime rates fall, D.C. saw homicides increase by 35 percent, robberies by 67 percent, and carjackings by 82 percent. 

The mayor conceded the district under her leadership "had a tough year last year" but said crime rates have started to "trend in the right direction" in 2024. She said a tourist told her over the weekend that he was surprised D.C. residents were so "down on themselves" considering the district’s abundant amenities and opportunities, according to Axios.

Bowser’s remarks came at a time when an increasing number of D.C. businesses have shut down or moved due to crime concerns. In February, popular vegan spot Sticky Fingers Diner closed its doors. The restaurant’s owner, Doron Petersan, said, "D.C. has not done enough to make sure that our infrastructure is set up so that everyone can operate in a safe manner, and this is really on the council and the mayor."