TESTIMONY OF KENNETH MCCLENTON,
CHAIRMAN OF ANACOSTIA COORDINATING COUNCIL’S (ACC)
THE OPEN HEART / CLOSE CASE CAMPAIGN
Judiciary Public Hearing: Beyond 100 Homicides & B21-0261
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
The Committee on the Judiciary will hold a Public Hearing on:
- BEYOND 100 HOMICIDES: VIOLENT CRIME IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
- B21-0261, THE "SALE OF SYNTHETIC DRUGS AMENDMENT ACT OF 2015"
Chairman Kenyan McDuffie. Councilman Jack Evans. Councilwoman Anita Bonds. Councilwoman Mary Cheh. Councilwoman LaRuby May. It is an honor to speak before the District of Columbia City Council’s Judiciary Committee on the topic of Violent Crime. I am Kenneth McClenton, Chairman of Anacostia Coordinating Council’s Public Safety Arm--The Open Heart / Close Case Campaign. Our Vision is “Opening Our Culture’s Hearts to Utterly Resolving Homicides, Missing Persons and Exploited Children’s Cases throughout the World.” We are a solution driven campaign seeking to impact branches of governance locally, regionally and nationally. From without, it would grant me sincere ease to register my disdain for our City’s reaction to the 110 and climbing number of homicides. Yet, this Culture of Fear and Death has not left us in peace. From within, the Lord God has granted my family and I a more unique perspective on violent crime in DC than any public policy research or neighborhood advocacy could prudently prepare..
On May 27, 2015, our eldest daughter, Charnice Milton, was brutally murdered on Good Hope and Naylor Roads in Southeast Washington, DC. She lived, worked and worshiped in her Native City. A graduate of Ball State University, she earned a Master's Degree from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Milton covered Wards 6, 7 and 8 for the Capital Community News. She was on her way home from the monthly meeting of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee when she was used as a human shield by a gang member avoiding a direct shot from a rival gang member. On the night that the Honorable Mayor Muriel Bowser visited our home to extend condolences on behalf of the City, Charnice Milton was placed on the City’s Cold Case List. The name of the List has since been changed to Major Case/Unresolved Homicides. However, unchanged is our daughter’s place on the list.
On June 1, 2015, she was the 31st added. On July 26, when we began demanding this Public Hearing, there were 48 unresolved homicides. Since December 2, 2005, there are 5 Unresolved Transgender Homicides. As of this morning, for 2015, the City has 65 unresolved homicides.
Table A. 2014 Unresolved Homicides Total
Total Number of Unresolved Homicides
63 or 89%
8 or 11%
69 or 97%
0 or 0%
1 or 1%
1 or 1%
Total Number of Unresolved Homicides
60 or 92%
5 or 8%
61 or 94%
1 or 1%
3 or 4%
0 or 0%
The MPDC's Major Case/Cold Case Unit (http://mpdc.dc.gov/page/investigating-unsolved-murders-dc) is composed of eight detectives. With over 136 Major Case/Unresolved Homicides in merely the past two years, it must be daunting for such a small staff to bring closure to such a significant compilation of cases. We must answer why a City of this magnitude, after years of community policing, has great duress in resolving homicides. We must answer why a City Council is able to fund a Wizards/Mystics Training Center with “Tax Dollars” yet, fund only Eight Cold Case detectives with “Tax Dollars”.
Why is it difficult to get parents and guardians of unresolved homicide victims out of the shadows of the Culture of Fear and Death. One reason may be that this Culture and its itinerants have made it tremendously clear that the victim is not the one killed but the one that has done the killing. Our legislatures make it profoundly clear that they do want to pass laws but do not want them to be enforced to the extent of incarceration. Our executive makes it clear that keeping the police at bay while they are taunted by miscreants on ATV’s is prudence. Even when electro-magnetic pulsar technology exists, the Culture of Fear and Death understands that “vivid dance between restrained law enforcement and unrestrained criminals” will continue. Finally, we have a judiciary that has received the “spirit” and releases a man that strikes a police officer because that is not a crime sincere enough to adjudicate. What happens to the freshly released? The death of a man on the Metro-Rail by 40 slashes. The Culture of Fear and Death is not concerned about whether you will write a new law or create a new government program. They and those oppressed by them will only respond when you believe the laws you write must be enforced at every level of governance.
Mr. Chairman, the District of Columbia has a gang problem. Gangs, both local and national, ascertain their revenue through gun trafficking, drug trafficking and now, human trafficking. Stacy Jewel Lewis, Kennedy Center playwright, is an example of an individual that was human trafficked when kidnapped as a teen. Thankfully, her story lives on through her faith and her art. Paul Paudert, a retired chief of police from West Memphis, Ark., told a group of assembled North Carolina law enforcement officers in early August that he considers gang members to be domestic terrorists. “They’ll take a young lady, and they’ll sell her via prostitution, human trafficking, and they make on average about $160,000 off of one female in a year,” said Mark Bridgeman, President of the North Carolina Gang Investigators Association. Two gang members were involved in the death of Charnice Milton. One held her as a human shield as the other shot her point blank into the chest. They escaped. Fourteen suspects rode away on ATV’s. It was caught on video and played for the world to see. What became of the 27 year old journalist that was in the “wrong place at the wrong time”? She bled out in the arms of Police Officer M. D. Smith. Not her father but a Godly man in Blues. We have a gang problem.
Relisha Rudd's disappearance from a DC Homeless Shelter went without report to the Metropolitan Police for three weeks. Sarah Stein, PhD of The Center for the Resolution of Unresolved Crime advises that over 85% of children missing after three hours are found dead. Unfortunately, we have not found Relisha Rudd. We believe that if Relisha's absence was reported earlier then, we would have had a better chance of finding her. Hence, we propose the Relisha T Rudd Law which would require mandatory reporting of missing children under age 13 within 24 hours of their noted absence. We must hold parents and guardians accountable for the care of their children. We believe this measure will reduce threats of death, violence and kidnapping and preserve our City's families and public safety.
Mr. Chairman, District Citizens Relisha Rudd and Charnice Milton have garnered International attention for the distinctions of Missing Person and Unresolved Homicide. No family should lose a child and no other individual or family, economic leader, educational leader, governmental servant or Faith leader should be caught unawares. Our concern is not why someone was murdered or the content of the character of the person that was murdered. We are concerned that a father, mother, sister, brother or other is unable to know peace because the homicide is unresolved. The City should not sleep until every family has been fully restored by the resolution of each homicide. The Open Heart / Close Case Campaign will not allow you to rest until you offer sincere and prudent relief from your post in the culture.