DC Mayor Muriel Bowser encountered a backlash after she tweeted on Sunday tips to prevent car theft in the wake of the death of Mohammad Anwar, who was killed when his vehicle was carjacked on 23 March.
In what many people suspected may have been a scheduled tweet, Bowser shared tips like parking in a safe spot, locking your car and keep track of the keys.
The tips came although the mayor never officially reacted to Tuesday's fatal carjacking, causing netizens to lash out at Bowser, call her "heartless" and accuse her of victim-blaming.
Users recalled that Anwar was doing his job and noted that "it was broad daylight" when he was attacked by two teenage girls, particularly slamming the tweet for naming car theft as a "crime of opportunity".
Please tell me this is *not* your response to the Anwar carjacking. pic.twitter.com/82jKwBNxVw— jennifer jamieson (@urptbng) March 28, 2021
Next, Bowser will be telling women what to wear in order to prevent sexual assault.— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) March 28, 2021
I’ll never forget the words “crime of opportunity” after a Pakistani immigrant was murdered in her city.
1. It was broad daylight— Gracy (@Gracy10164) March 28, 2021
2. He was working!
3. They CARJACKED HIM
4. He couldn’t control his car much less the keys in the face of these two .... I have no words
5. Oh he was alert alright....he knew what they were doing and was screaming for help
Your are heartless
Victim blaming. You keep finding new lows.— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) March 28, 2021
Some even thought of particular "opportunities" for carjacking.
Police leave their cars running while responding to calls, is it cool if I just take the opportunity to steal one of their cruisers?— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ElijahSchaffer) March 28, 2021
Others stressed that it is the job of the authorities to ensure that there is less car crime and not put the blame for that on people.
Car jackings are up 350%. Also the man murdered was doing his job. Maybe you should do yours.— klg (@Phxwarpedview) March 28, 2021
One user criticised the tips themselves, particularly the advice to find a safe parking place in Washington DC.
That's also called "don't park in DC." pic.twitter.com/YZ75eqh9Co— Punished Nuggs (@BurntNuggz) March 28, 2021
The carjacking that killed Anwar occurred on Tuesday, with the DC Metropolitan Police Department saying that when they responded to an accident in Van Street, in the city's southeast, they arrived to discover "an adult male suffering from life-threatening injuries", later identified as Anwar.
After arriving at the hospital, Anwar was pronounced dead. Police reported that two underage girls, 13 and 15, had attacked him with a taser intending to steal his vehicle.
According to the New York Post citing officials, the girls put the car in gear and started moving while Anwar was partially outside of the car, and it "lurched forward with Anwar still hanging from it".
On Tuesday, the two teenagers were charged with felony murder and armed carjacking.