On the MPD listserv, ANC 5D Chair Commissioner Kathy Henderson let MPD officials have it after perceiving they’d slighted her efforts to reign in alleged unlicensed meat peddlers. It all started on Sunday afternoon, when the Commish tried to report what she believed was a crime in progress- selling door-to-door without a vendor license. In addition, she somehow links the meat salesmen to theft and burglaries, e-mailing the MPD-5D listserv, in part:
There are two individuals canvassing the 1800 block of L Street NE, claiming to sell meat. One is wearing a pair of checker-colored shorts and a white t-shirt with no signage or lettering. The other is wearing a burgundy polo and shorts. Both are going onto neighbor’s properties and peering into windows; one stepped on flowers as he crossed into another yard.
This type of activity is suspicious. Over the years we have had robberies committed in the area by persons in uniforms claiming to be from Pepco, UPS, contractors etc. Many of these crimes were committed during the day. We still have too many burglaries and thefts in this community. Someone recently cut locks off of my neighbor’s gate and stole property. These individuals have not displayed any identification or license authorizing them to sell meat.
Last year, Henderson reported the same thing, and MPD officials asked her (and others) to call 911 when it occurs. Understandably, the MPD list moderator replied back to let Henderson know it’s best to call 911 for crimes in progress, but that the information was relayed to on-duty officials, and therefore did not post the message publicly to the listserv of 5th district residents:
The list is not monitored for immediate help. This message is being directly sent to PSA Lieutenant
Apparently enraged at that response, Henderson replied back to let MPD have it, implied the meat company may be somehow linked to burglaries or other crimes, and also insulted the police listserv moderator. Henderson wrote:
I called the 911 dispatcher for police assistance regarding this matter. I appreciate the officers responding, asking the alleged meat vendors for identification and a license to sell meat in the District; they had no vending license and were thus sent on their way (presumably back to Virginia).
We do not buy meat from trucks, sofas from the sidewalks being sold by North Carolina vendors, etc. Further, we do not appreciate these unlicensed peddlers peering into our windows, stepping on our flowers or otherwise canvassing our community looking for opportunities to steal. We have been victimized by a host of characters claiming to be Pepco, Verizon, UPS etc. representatives. Instead of providing a terse and unresponsive reply, we expect the 5D outreach coordinator to be equally receptive to our concerns. The excuse for failing to post the message is unacceptable. The person serving as an outreach coordinator should at a minimum possess the ability to effectively interact with all members of the community. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Henderson’s tirade unleashed a storm of messages, with several stating that the meat company is legit and has great products, and others launching false claims that the meat is uninspected by the USDA and one USDA employee even providing information on how to report such violations.
Yes, perhaps DC should crackdown if meat salesmen are registered out of state but not in DC. Then again, there are many other examples of local “salesmen” (like the guy selling bags of charity-provided food for profit) that apparently go unnoticed by Henderson. In addition, it’s at least disingenuous and possibly libelous to try to tie the meat salesmen to burglaries and thefts without any evidence of such a connection.
No stranger to allegations of libel, Henderson is currently being sued by two local businesses (Capital City Diner & Jimmy Valentine’s) for statements on listservs a judge deemed libelous.
Also, be sure to catch Henderson live and in-person at Tuesday’s ANC5D meeting, where Mayor Gray has promised to appear.
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