Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser has come under fire for posting a tweet advising people on how to prevent auto theft after days of silence about UberEats driver killed in a carjacking in the city.
Bowser’s official Twitter account posted a Metropolitan Police Department video about preventing car thefts on Sunday with the caption: ‘Auto theft is a crime of opportunity. Follow these steps to reduce the risk of your vehicle becoming a target. Remember the motto, #ProtectYourAuto.’
The tweet drew outrage from critics who called it tone deaf in light of the death of 66-year-old Mohammad Anwar. Anwar died last Tuesday when he was ejected from his Honda Accord after two teenage girls allegedly tasered him and tried to steal his car.
One critic tweeted: ‘Horrible timing on this clearly scheduled tweet. And even if Mohammed Anwar wasn’t dead, carjackings are a plague in DC — there isn’t a lot you can do [with regard to] risk reduction besides simply not driving a car.’
Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser (left) came under fire for posting a tweet advising people on how to prevent auto theft after days of silence about the death of Mohammad Anwar (right), an UberEats driver who was killed in a carjacking in the city last week
Bowser’s official Twitter account posted a Metropolitan Police Department video about preventing car thefts on Sunday
Another wrote: ‘A Pakistani immigrant was just murdered in DC & your response is to call this a “crime of opportunity”?
‘I hope the immigrant community is paying attention to how democrats, like you, react to this.’
Several critics accused Bowser of ‘victim blaming’ and noted that she has yet to speak publicly about Anwar’s death.
‘Are we victim shaming now, Mayor?’ a third critic asked. ‘#mohammedanwar was doing his job and picking people up and/or delivering food so he could put food on the table. This is all you have to say? Advice to avoid being carjacked? Nothing to commemorate this man?’
Bowser’s tweet drew outrage from critics who called it tone deaf in light of Anwar’s death
The backlash over Bowser’s tweet followed graphic new video shared on social media has shown the events leading up to Anwar’s tragic death as well as the moment the suspects attempt to run away as he lay motionless on the sidewalk.
A father-of-three from Springfield, Virginia, Anwar was making deliveries for UberEats when the two teens, aged 13 and 15, approached his car and tasered him in an attempt to steal the vehicle.
The 90-second clip begins with Anwar struggling to regain control of his car after the two girls have already made their way inside.
‘They’re thieves,’ he is heard saying as he attempts to pull the girl out of the driver seat of the parked car. ‘This is my car!’
The teen suddenly accelerates, sending the car speeding down the 1200 block of Van Street SE with Anwar still clinging on to the driver side’s door.
Disturbing video footage shows two teenage suspects climbing out of the wreckage on Tuesday after crashing a car they allegedly attempted to steal from Anwar
Video shows the teenage girls attempting to run away as Anwar lay motionless on the sidewalk after being ejected from the car. National Guard troops detained suspects, aged 13 and 15, until police arrived
At one point, the car is seen smashing into a metal fence from its left side, crushing the delivery driver between the barrier and car door.
As the car continues to speed off into the distance, a screeching sound is heard followed by a loud crash.
The bystander filming the incident runs over to the site of the crash to find the car rolled over and the two girls climbing out of the wreckage.
Anwar’s body can be seen lying motionless on the corner on the sidewalk, as witnesses scramble to get help.
Two National Guardsmen who were in the area removed the juvenile suspects from the overturned car and detained them until police responded to the scene and arrested them.
Anwar was eventually rushed to a hospital but could not be saved. He was ejected onto the sidewalk and sustained fatal injuries, including head trauma and broken bones.
The Metropolitan Police Department described the suspects in the felony murder and armed carjacking as a 13-year-old girl from Southeast DC, and a 15-year-old girl from Fort Washington, Maryland. They have not been named because they are juveniles.
The graphic video clip begins with Anwar attempting to pull one of the suspects out of the driver seat
The girl then accelerates while Anwar is still hanging off from the left side of the car, sending the vehicle speeding down the road. At one point, the car is seen smashing into a metal fence (right) from its left side, crushing the delivery driver between the barrier and car door
Family members said Anwar immigrated to the US from Pakistan in 2014 and worked in food delivery to provide for his wife, three adult children and four grandchildren.
‘The family is devastated by this senseless crime,’ relatives said in a statement. ‘Mohammad Anwar was a father, a grandfather, a husband, a brother, and uncle beloved by many here in the United States and in Pakistan, his birth country.’
The two suspects made their initial court appearance on Wednesday, reported WUSA9.
Prosecutors claimed that the teenage girls got into Anwar’s Honda and set the gear into drive while the victim was wedged between the driver’s seat and the door.
The car then sped down Van Street SE as Anwar was hanging from it. According to prosecutors, when the Honda struck something, the door swung back and hit Anwar.
When the car made a sharp right turn onto North Street SE, Anwar became airborne and landed on the ground before his Honda crashed into two parked cars.
The Honda flipped on its side after hitting something and causing Anwar to be ejected onto the sidewalk
National Guard troops pulled the girls, ages 13 and 15, from the victim’s overturned car. One of them is pictured in an orange sweatshirt just steps away from the victim’s body
A judge concluded that the two teen girls pose a threat to the community and are a potential flight risk, and ordered them detained pending their next court appearance scheduled for March 31.
Meanwhile, the victim’s niece has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for a traditional Islamic funeral for him. As of Thursday morning, more than $85,000 has been raised.
‘Words can not describe how our family is feeling currently,’ Lehra Bogino wrote in the campaign’s description.
‘Devastation, confusion, shock, anger, heartache, and anguish are just a few that come to mind. We will carry him with us always, but it doesn’t take the pain away of losing him so tragically and so unexpectedly soon.’