On the 16th of June, DC Ferguson returned to the streets and shut down Chinatown, demanding not only that Police Chief Lanier keep the de facto promise she just made to end jump-outs, but also an end to gentrifcation and homelessness. The 16th of June was the 39th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising that marked the start of the movement that ultimately ended Apartheid in South Africa.
A few days earlier, DC Police Chief Lanier said that MPD would be switching focus from “low-level drug dealers” to major suppliers. According to the Washington Post report, the city’s vice squads are to be finally eliminated. Not once was the word “jump-out” used in any mainstream media story, but it is clear this is in response to growing pressure to end this tactic. When DC Ferguson began organizing against jump-outs, MPD first claimed to have discontinued the tactic during the 1990’s, then claimed only vice squads did anything like this. Now they say they will abolish the vice squads, but will the jump-outs really end or some other or renamed part of MPD continue business as usual?
Jump-outs are essentially when undercover cops swarm onto a block and attempt to intimidate every young Black male into submitting to an illegal search. Presumably MPD hopes to catch street corner drug dealers by searching everyone on the corner in this way. Jump-outs are seen only in gentrification front-line areas plus in Wards 7 and 8, which are African-American majority neighborhoods. Police deny they do this, yet everyone on some blocks I know well knows exactly what a jump-out is.
Since Lanier’s statement, FAUX News has been running nonstop crime stories, along with interviews with masked cops complaining about the shift of focus. Faux is yakking every day about overdoses of a bad batch of “synthetic pot”-just after real pot has been legalized. Most likely FAUX has another agenda behind supporting jump-outs, a pro-gentrification one. This is in itself evidence that as protesters charge, jump-outs are about social control and racism, not about drugs at all.