I’ve said before that I get why governors released people from prison over coronavirus concerns. After all, if the virus turned out as deadly as it appeared to be, it wouldn’t take long before our prisons started churning out dead bodies at a prodigious rate and the governors would feel the heat.
Just because I get it, though, doesn’t mean I’m convinced it was the right call to make.
After all, we’ve seen several cases where people released due to COVID-19 concerns have injured or killed innocent people. That suggests that maybe, just maybe, they should have still been in prison.
However, none of those cases are as heartbreaking as this one.
July 4 weekend was a horrible bloodbath for black children across many of our nation’s prominent cities. As I chronicled each of the cases last week, I predicted that most of the suspects would be repeat violent offenders, gun felons, parole violators, or all of the above. Well, that appears to be the case in the horrific D.C. shooting on Independence Day that left 11-year-old Davon McNeal dead.
McNeal was helping his mother at a neighborhood barbecue when a group of drive-by shooters fatally shot him. D.C. police have now arrested two suspects, have issued warrants for two more, and are waiting on a fifth.
During a press conference on Thursday, Police Chief Peter Newsham announced the arrest of 18-year-old Daryle Bond of Southeast D.C. and noted that he has a violent criminal history. Later that day, Christian Wingfield, 22, was arrested. Warrants have been issued for Marcel Gordon, 25, and Carlo General, 19, and they are still at large. Just this past spring, General was arrested on felony possession of a handgun, but rather than being jailed, he was placed into Maryland’s growing supervised probation program.
Christian Wingfield was also arrested on felony gun charges in the spring but was placed under “active intensive supervision” with a curfew and GPS monitor. But like all supervised parole programs, there is no deterrent. He allegedly cut off the ankle monitor when he participated in the drive-by shooting. Gordon also had two gun-related arrests as well as other charges.
Here’s the kicker. Wingfield was released from D.C. jail on May 22 because of coronavirus. Mind you, the fatality rate in prisons has been lower than among the non-incarcerated population, but that has not stopped these liberal cities from releasing 94,000 criminals from prisons and jails, according to UCLA’s database. California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced the release of another 8,000 criminals. California has already released over 13,400 from county jails and over 3,400 from prison.
None of these cases we’ve talked about are acceptable, but the murder of an 11-year-old boy is particularly awful. The fact that this is someone who is supposed to still be in prison, but was released over a virus that poses minimal risk to healthy 22-year-old people, is something that is extremely difficult for anyone to try and wrap their minds around and not get infuriated.
Of course, the actual kicker here is that the murder of Davon McNeal will be used to try and justify gun control, rather than criminal control.