Photo showing several MPD vehicles with their lights flashing.
MPD vehicles respond to a 2018 homeless encampment cleanup. Photo by Eric Falquero

Devonne Harris, who often went by Evon, was struck and killed by a Metropolitan Police Department officer while crossing the street late at night on July 24. The officer was “operating a marked police vehicle with lights and sirens activated, while responding to assist another officer,” according to an MPD news release. She was hit in the 2800 block of Minnesota Ave. SE at approximately 9:37 p.m. D.C. Fire and EMS responded to the scene and transported her to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Harris, approximately five and a half feet tall and 62 years old, was likely experiencing homelessness. She had no fixed address, according to the release. Court records show she lived in the area for at least 35 years. Her first case in D.C. Superior Court dates back to 1985. There are 30 cases, with a couple more in neighboring Prince George’s County, documenting moments in her life here. 

[Read more: This man went to jail after there was not space available for him at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington]

Her record mirrors that of other low-income individuals denied adequate health care or housing. One-third of her cases were “no-papered,” where the government chose not to press charges after her arrest. In seven others, her competency to stand trial was questioned. In her last three, in 2014 and 15, the government moved to consider civil commitment but instead chose to dismiss each case.

The Sixth District officer who struck Harris has been placed on “non-contact” status, according to Officer Sean Hickman. MPD’s Internal Affairs Division and Major Crash Investigations Unit are investigating the incident. Anyone with information about the crash should call MPD at (202) 727-9099 or text your tip to 50411


Street Sense Media aims to provide obituaries for anyone who dies without a home in the District of Columbia. If you knew Ms. Harris, please contact [email protected].