Saturday, May 31

DC SATURDAY

POLICE

DOG DC On Friday evening , May 23rd, in Northeast Washington, while a drug bust was in process in the house next door, Michael Bailey's six-year-old dog Precious, who had been with the family since she was 4 months old, was in her yard, tied on her leash to the fron porch. A MPD office in pursuit on foot of a drug suspect, ran past Precious' yard, when she started barking from underneath the front gate. The officer stopped running, pulled out his firearm and shot at Precious twice, hitting her once. At that point, Michael's fiance Sloane grabbed Precious and held her under control between her legs and shouted "I have her." The officer ignored Sloane's please and yelled , "I'm going to get the bitch," and then shot Precious four more times while Sloane was still holding her. Sloane unleashed Precious to tend to her wounds, at which point Precious ran into the house, and up the stairs to her favorite spot, under Michale's bed, where she died right after. At the time there were about 30 people nearby, including children and elderly people, meaning that anyone of them could have been injured or killed.

The Washington Humane Society was called and after the humane officer took a report, he took Precious' body away. But an hour later, after the WHS officer left, the police officer, in what could only be described as a deliberate act to cover up his shooting of Precious by making the situation look worse than it was, arrested Bailey saying that he had verbally assaulted one of the officers. The officer even wrote on the report that Bailey unleashed Precious on him, while the facts show otherwise. Bailey admits that he was distraught over the cold-blooded shooting of his beloved dog, but said only such things as, "Why did he have to shoot my dog? How could this happen? The police didn't need to shoot my dog." Bailey says that he cooperated fully and the arrest was very low key. He went peacefully and spent the night in jail. He was given a June 17th court date for the disorderly conduct charge lodged against him.

Mr. Bailey is a disabled vet who served in the Air Force's military police unit, working with K-9's, which is where he developed his love of dogs. He says about his neighbors are dismayed and shocked, too, because Precious was known all over as a gentle, loving dog. Mr. Bailey cannot afford an attorney to pursue this matter.

In another incident in the area several months ago not involving Bailey, the same officer gained entry into Bailey's home incorrectly thinking there were drugs in there, and detained Bailey and Sloane downstairs. Hearing the commotion downstairs, Precious poked her head out at the top of the stairs and when she saw the officer, she started to run back under the bed. The office then took two shots at her, missing her. Later, when it was clear that the police had the wrong house, Bailey called Precious to him at the time and introduced her to another officer who was also there that time to show her that she was a gentle dog. The gun shot is still embedded in the staircase from that incident. It is suspected that this is why the police officer who shot Precious shouted "I'm going to get the bitch" this time

SCHOOLS

ACTIVIST LETTER TO CITY COUNCIL CHAIR We are deeply disturbed at the Mayor's choice of Frederick Hess and Kenneth Wong as unbiased, independent judges of the city's public school reform. Mr. Hess can hardly be considered independent and unbiased, when he has already publicly praised the Chancellor's reform efforts, in an op-ed in the Washington Post in September, and when the Chancellor wrote a glowing review for Mr. Hess's publisher to use to promote one of his books.

In addition, as you know Mr. Hess is the director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute - a neo-conservative think tank that has served as the ideological kitchen for the Bush Administration and helped shift resources from social services to war and profits for corporations. AEI is the think tank that funded projects such as The Bell Curve, by AEI scholar Charles Murray, which caused outrage around the nation because of its racist conclusions that blacks are of inferior intelligence to whites and Asians, and The End of Racism, by Dinesh D'Souza, which declared that racism in the U.S. has ended and that the days of affirmative action are over. We should not be hiring such an institution's directors to judge the success of our school reform efforts.

Kenneth Wong, the Mayor's other recommended evaluator, is also a flawed choice, as he has written a book praising mayoral school takeovers.

DION HAYNES, WASHINGTON POST Officials at the D.C. principals union are protesting Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's recent decision to let go about two dozen principals. The union is planning to ask the D.C. Council to investigate whether the firings were fair, said Aona Jefferson, executive vice president of the Council of School Officers.

ONE THE BEST TALKS ON EDUCATION YOU'LL HEAR IN A LONG TIME

THE MIX

WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY reported the tension in a part of Capitol Hill after gentrifiers began placing broad blame for a series of robberies and assaults on the nearby public housing project, Potomac Gardens. One resident even suggested the need for Blackwater to assist and several called for getting rid of Potomac Gardens. But as the discussion continued, other voices, especially from long term residents, were heard with a more realistic view of the situation. And then, local city councilmember Tommy Wells, in a wise move, announced a series of potluck suppers for neighbors and residents of Potomac Gardens.

REPORT FROM THE FIRST POTOMAC GARDENS POTLUCK SUPPER - The discussion was lively and actually, I learned quite a bit. My take is that the assertions some have made are quite true. For every attack and crime we see in the neighborhood, our neighbors within Potomac Gardens deal with ten-fold. I could regale you with stories of young kids pleading for people to come play basketball with them or stories of break-ins within the property, but quite honestly they are much more powerful if you attend. Heartbreaking in many instances. A man gunned down at his door step. Three point blank shots to his head, now wheelchair bound, but mentoring children. I guess we missed that on the listserv as it didn't impact us. Yet it did. It impacts the neighborhood with ripples into the minds of the kids growing up there.

Yes, there were some tense moments. One speaker recounted the fact they had an active community member gunned down, and no attention was brought when those within Potomac Garden called out. Only when a "white victim" and the "Harris Teeter crowd" complained did a meeting take place. She was angry, but probably the same as all of us Hilleasters when we get angry that one mugging in Georgetown mobilizes the infantry and muggings by the dozen are seen as par for the course in our neighborhood. - RT

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