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Our Nation’s Capital: Life in Anacostia

John on October 23, 2007 at 11:19 am

My father and step-mother used to live on Capitol Hill, right across the river from Anacostia. Their immediate neighbors were nice people, but living so close to a high crime neighborhood (Anacostia) comes at a price. While living there they had their car stolen once and broken into on another occasion. All of that came to mind as I read this story about a cop living in Anacostia:

Hampton is one of the most sincere, committed cops I have encountered. She’s the counterpart to gruff cops who want to sweep thugs from the streets; she’s the quintessential “Officer Friendly,” working with kids, troubled or not, to build trust and head them toward successful lives.

At Ballou High, she was a singer and a dancer and played the lead in “Ruby.”

She was studying for a health care degree at UDC when she gave birth to her son, David.

For a time she dropped out and went on welfare, before she landed a job with the MPD. She became Officer Hampton on Aug. 6, 2004. Based in Anacostia’s 7D, she worked with kids. “They are my passion,” she says.


It was a crowning achievement when she bought a house on Congress Street in January 2006 and moved in with her son. The harassment from two men who lived in their grandmother’s house across the street started soon after.

One day last December, Demarrieo Davis, Robert Bartley and 10 friends surrounded her in the foyer of a nearby apartment building, Hampton said. She testified in court Oct. 1 that they said, “That bitch is the police,” and “his gun was bigger than mine,” and “he was going to blow my head off.”

The thugs scattered when the police came. She pressed charges. Bartley was found guilty of misdemeanor threats; Davis pleaded guilty Oct. 2. Neither served much time. Both are back to harassing Hampton. Meanwhile, Tamika Hampton is too scared to bring her son home. David is living with her parents.

Everyone who can afford to moves away from neighborhoods like this. Eventually, all that’s left are the thugs, the criminals and the victims.

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Category: Absurd & Outrageous |

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