In the nation’s capital, it’s a fair question to ask: Who gets the better deal, innocent citizens who want to own a gun, or dangerous criminals? The District’s deliberate policy of releasing criminals back onto the streets shows the liberal city council’s answer has little to do with public safety.
Take the case of Ramad Speight, an admitted psychotic and alleged cop-shooter. He was in custody from March until July 16 when a D.C. judge freed him to travel around the city with a few restrictions. Mr. Speight was under arrest following a shootout with Montgomery County, Md. police that left him shot three times in the torso. The officers had responded to a 911 call about shots fired on the north side of Eastern Avenue, just inside the District line.
According to prosecutors, Mr. Speight stood outside his home, yelled “Game over,” raised his loaded revolver and opened fire on the officers. They ran for cover, but Mr. Speight allegedly kept shooting, hitting one officer in the hand.
Mr. Speight was hospitalized and then held without bond on 11 charges, including having an illegal gun. Public defender Michael Satin petitioned for his release, citing Mr. Speight’s use of antipsychotic medication since June as evidence that he’s now less dangerous. The lawyer added the defendant’s right arm is paralyzed from the shooting, which “reduces his ability to commit a crime in the community.”
D.C. Superior Court Judge Florence Pan, who was appointed by President Obama, released him from home confinement, setting lenient terms that allowed Mr. Speight to leave his mother’s home for school, medical or mental health appointments and court matters. Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, wouldn’t comment on the ruling, but said Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Barlotta opposed Mr. Speight’s release based on “our belief that he presents a danger to the community.”