Late last month, 66-year-old Uber Eats driver Mohammad Anwar was killed on the job after his vehicle was carjacked by two teenage girls. The man was still holding on to the car when the teenagers accelerated, eventually causing a fatal crash.
The incident, which was recorded by a bystander, went viral on social media. Outrage was met with calls for police and politicians in major cities such as Washington, DC to tackle the surge in violent crime which have been seen in major metropolises across the United States.
The teens, ages 13 and 15, are not being charged as adults and are expected to remain behind bars until the age of 21. The decision to offer them a plea bargain, which many have described as generous given the severity of the crime, was met with outrage.
Acting Washington, DC Police Chief Robert Contee III, however, agreed that the girls should not be charged as adults.
"The 15-year-old would not be charged as an adult. You know, obviously, this is a tragic case and, you know, charging this person as an adult [who's] a juvenile… does not bring back the lost loved one in this case," Contee said.
Contee also downplayed the crime itself, suggesting that it is little more than a symptom of a larger problem.
"That's one of many. We have one for that particular – one of the individuals involved, but there are several carjackings that we have had so far this year where we're seeing individuals that are involved in multiple, multiple cases. So clearly I think that speaks to us really examining, as a community, the accountability that’s in place," Contee said. "I think it's the larger issue than just this one particular case."
Carjackings in Washington, DC are up over 4,000 percent in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter of 2020.