Criminal justice advocate shot and killed hours before reform bill passes

Fate can be a cruel mistress, and that adage played out in Washington, D.C., last week when a criminal justice reform advocate was killed just hours before the city council passed a bill he championed.

Kelvin Blowe, 32, who helped pass sweeping changes to the criminal code including reducing sentences for those convicted of crimes in D.C., was shot and killed in the city last Tuesday, Fox News reported. He was on his way home from his job as a security guard when his life was taken around 5:25 a.m. on Nov. 15.

Blowe also worked as a policy and advocacy associate at DC Justice Lab and testified before the DC city council about reforming the city’s justice system, according to Fox News..

“It’s kind of hard to put into words what it feels like to see his work come to fruition without being able to share in that celebration with him,” Patrice Sulton, Executive Director DC Justice Lab, told Fox 5 DC. “In some ways the timing of it is an added injury on top of the loss. And I think we lost a really powerful voice in a really important movement and that’s not something that we’ll be able to replace.”

Just hours after his death, the DC city council passed the criminal justice overhaul that The Washington Post said will get rid of most mandatory minimum sentences, expand who is eligible for jury trials, and reduce maximum penalties for burglaries, carjackings and robberies.

Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser has yet to sign the bill but given her left-wing politics, that is likely just a formality.

A Marine Corps veteran, Blowe struggled with PTSD and drugs after getting out of the military and spent more than 5 years in prison before working to help others get the services they need after being incarcerated, according to Fox 5 DC.

“We have to learn to love each other and bring the city together – that’s what my nephew was trying to do,” Rev. Keith Johnson, who is also Blowe’s uncle, told the affiliate.

Tom Tillison


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