Police are struggling to stop violence in West Baltimore, where officers have been routinely surrounded by dozens of people, video cameras and hostility while doing basic police work since the death of Freddie Gray, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said Wednesday.
The Western District, the site of Gray’s arrest and the epicenter of the protests and rioting that followed his death, has seen the majority of the city’s recent shootings and homicides, which are coming faster than they have in eight years.
In response, Batts said, police are taking measures to re-establish relationships with West Baltimore neighborhoods still angry over Gray’s death April 19, Batts said.
Police have sent in commanders from other districts with experience and contacts in West Baltimore. Backup officers are being sent to routine calls to help protect officers.