Alarming surge in murders in Baltimore in weeks since police protests

Alarming surge in murders in Baltimore in weeks since police protests
Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

Be careful what you wish for. At the height of the protests in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray, who succumbed to injuries sustained while in police custody, rioters threw rocks at police and set fire to a police van. It didn’t take a mind-reader to home in on the crowd’s message: Cops, get out of our neighborhood!

Which they did — with predictable results. Baltimore CBS affiliate WJZ reports that in the weeks following the demonstrations, violent crime has spiked dramatically. Eric Owens writing at the Daily Caller quantifies the violence via a data search of the Baltimore Sun, which shows that 26 homicides have occurred within the city limits during the last 30 days — or since April 9. WJZ’s Christie Ileto notes that murders are up one-third of where they were last year at this time.

Ileto adds that “some are concerned police are hesitant to crack down after six officers were charged in the death of Freddie Gray.” But Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is not buying that explanation. “People have said its because morale is down, or it’s because the officers were charged,” she is quoted as saying. “We don’t know that.”

But the Baltimore Police Department says the Gray case and the black community’s reaction is impacting policing. An officer who chose to remain anonymous is quoted:

If you want them to be proactive in patrolling and trying to catch people, I could see them not being interested in doing that.

A similar phenomenon occurred in New York last winter after some cretins cheered the ambush murder of two of New York’s Finest. The shooter, for what it’s worth, was a gang member from Baltimore. In the weeks following that assassination, violent crime in Brooklyn spiked as police visibility on the street diminished.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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