The Color Of Money
We put up the reward posters in a circle around the 1500 block of Swann Street. Visible, well-traveled spots from U Street down to P; 13th to 16th. MPD posters are all over the place too and Robert’s blended in well. It’s only when seen side by side does the disparity in the MPD’s lottery-style payout policy become clear. Tips on a murderers range from ten thousand to fifty thousand. There’s an official explanation of course, the MPD website lays out general guidelines, but what about intangibles, like home field advantage?
Ron Harris of MPD General Counsel’s office said reward amounts vary depending on a number of factors. These include input from the case detectives, general crime trends, advice from the chief of police and the perceived “…usefulness…” of the reward.
Individuals or groups can augment rewards, but it’s an involved process.
It’s something you would need a lawyer to figure out.
The MPD requires a letter of intent, a designated financial trustee, an escrow account of at least one year standing, and other details which are not made public before adding the funds. A final detail: all rewards are listed as “…up to…” a certain amount. The exact dollar figure, according to Mr. Harris, depends on the quality of information, the legal conclusion, the number of individuals contributing.
Robert’s poster went up next to Durval Martins and Ray Carroll’s. Last December, Martins, a gay man was shot in the head in what looked like a failed street robbery at 11th and Q. Carroll was shot in thee head in front of a home across the river in March 2003.
Mention of Ray Carroll ($10,000) is harder to find online than Durval (up to $50,000) who returns about 200,000 Google hits. Ray who left behind a large family and garnered only this brief in the Metro section:
“A 43-year-old man from Adamstown was found fatally shot late Saturday in the 400 block of Condon Terrace SE. Raven Carroll, who D.C. police said lived in the 2900 block of Flynt Hill Road in the Frederick County community, was found about 10:10 p.m. with a gunshot wound to his head.”
Like Robert Wone ($25,000), Ray Carroll isn’t on the DC unsolved murder database either, perhaps dropped. Which means MPD may stiff you on the ten grand too. Ray Carroll, meet Harrison McKinley Walker.
Post(er) script: The Wone posters survived the spring rains although a few seemed to have been deliberately torn down. We lost a few then later replaced them on U Street and at 16th and R. Copies may be downloaded here.
-Craig and Doug