Last week, hours before the council unanimously voted to pass D.C.’s controversial criminal code reform, a criminal justice policy advocate who helped pass the bill was fatally shot and killed, Washington Post reported.
Kelvin Blowe, 32, was shot dead after a car crash just before 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday in Washington, DC.
Blowe is a member of DC Justice Lab, an organization that advocates for criminal justice reform in DC’s criminal legal system.
On the same day, the city council unanimously approved a bill he supported that reduced penalties for criminal offenses like robbery, burglary, carjacking, and firearm possession without a license.
Kelvin Blowe, über citizen (entrepreneur, decorated Marine Corps rifleman w/ multiple tours) frequently petitioned DC Council
— paul johnson (@paulotjoao) November 19, 2022
The Washington Post reports Blowe had spent over five years in prison for robbery, and the experience “instilled in him a passion to right inequities he believed he encountered.”
After getting out, he joined DC Justice Lab, one of the groups that pushed to overhaul the city’s criminal code. He testified in support of the proposed bill in December.
The Marine Corps veteran, who was diagnosed with PTSD, was working as a security guard and was taking coworkers home last week when he was shot and killed when a gunman “emerged from a stolen car after a crash with Blowe. Authorities said they believe Blowe also possessed a weapon, as they recovered a gun next to his body… Blowe’s family said they did not know he had a weapon.”
After the crash, Blowe got out, approached the car, and was shot. It is not known if Blowe pointed his firearm at the suspects, who fled the scene and have yet to be found.
The police stated that no arrests have been made and that the investigation is still ongoing.
“There is powerful false narrative in the District that criminal justice reform is fighting for leniency in lieu of safety…It is about freedom and safety,” DC Justice Lab wrote on Twitter.
There is powerful false narrative in the District that criminal justice reform is fighting for leniency in lieu of safety…It is about freedom and safety.https://t.co/naQv70rq9G
— DC Justice Lab (@DCJusticeLab) November 22, 2022