Mayor Gray, through a spokesperson as reported in the Washington Times on June 24, said the District Government “Bears no responsibility in her (Brishnell Jones) death. As such, the Office of the Attorney General, at the appropriate time, will move to dismiss this action”. This was in response to the lawsuit filed by Nardyne Jefferies, Brishnell’s mother.
I think that the mayor has a lot of gall to have that position. The District routinely lets dangerous criminals out on the streets prematurely. Sanquan Carter, the person who started the chain of retribution, was wanted for armed carjacking. Why was he released? Why are violent youth routinely housed together with less serious offenders at DC facilities, such as the New Beginnings correction facility in Laurel. Frequently, youth there have been out of control as well, as evidenced by the recent guard beating and escape.
Yes, the DC government has to take responsibility for its role in the death of Brishnell, and many other DC residents. Dangerous criminals need to be behind bars, regardless of their age. Those who wish to be reformed should have that chance. Unfortunately, the DC department of Youth and Rehabilitative Services has not sufficiently distinguished between different types of offenders, and DC law has frequently allowed criminals who commit serious crimes with weapons to go free. DC code needs to be tightened, and its enforcement increased, to protect all DC citizens. Criminals or ex convicts do not have any “right” to reek havoc and terror on our community. Ms. Jefferies is right to file her lawsuit, and her resounding victory will send a clear message to the DC Council and agencies to protect all citizens and to reevaluate and reform the practices of the DC juvenile justice system.