Baltimore police reported twenty-eight shootings and nine homicides over Memorial Day weekend, making May the deadliest month in the city since December 1999.
The victims included a 9-year-old boy shot in the leg yesterday. Police described the child as an “unintentional victim of the shooting.”
A total of thirty-five people have been killed in Baltimore in the month of May, bringing the death toll to 108 since the beginning of the year.
Baltimore City Councilman Pete Welch told the Baltimore Sun:
The shootings and killings are all over the city. I don’t think any part of the city is immune to this. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Baltimore has been the center of a national debate on policing in inner city communities since the death of Freddie Gray, who died of injuries sustained while in police custody on April 12.
The recent uptick in violence has some speculating that police are staging a deliberate slowdown, while others are saying anti-police sentiment has made officers hesitant to intervene in violent crimes.
Baltimore police commissioner Anthony Batts sought to dispel those notions in comments earlier today.
“Please be assured that the Baltimore Police Department is moving aggressively to both address the increase in violence, as well [as] to modernize and better equip ourselves for the future,” he said.