More than 30 people have been killed in Baltimore in 30 days, the homicide rate has hit 96 since the start of 2015, and insiders now suggest surging violent crime activity is due largely to the reluctance of police, worried about fallout from the Freddie Gray fiasco, to patrol.
CBS Baltimore quoted one Baltimore police officer who asked to remain anonymous insisting the Gray case, involving the black man who died shortly after being arrested by police, has had a tremendous impact on how law enforcement officers these days do their jobs.
“If you want them to be proactive in patrolling and trying to catch people, I could see them not being interested in doing that,” the officer said.
William Scipio, the head of Sandtown’s Resident Action Committee, also told CBS he has not seen an officer in the vicinity “since the riots” tore through Baltimore’s streets.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, meanwhile, said it would be inaccurate to draw conclusions from Gray’s case by saying police are now too worried or reluctant to patrol.
“People have said it’s because morale is down, or it’s because the officers were charged,” she said, of the reported 96 homicides the city’s seen so far this year. “We don’t know that.”
But the Washington Post reported many of the murders committed in the city since the riots have gone forth largely under the radar.
Referring to the statistics that show Baltimore’s seen 30 killings in 30 days, Rev. Jamal Bryant, pastor of Empowerment Temple, said residents have “almost been anesthetized” to the killings.
“In any other community,” he said, the Washington Post reported, “these numbers would be jaw-dropping.”
Of the city’s 216 homicides in 2014, blacks were victims 211 times.
The Washington Post also reports other violent crime statistics for the city.
Between mid-April and mid-May, 31 people were killed, and 39 more were injured by gunfire. On two occasions, 10 people were shot in a single day.
And current to Friday, the city’s homicide numbers hit 91, which is 21 above the rate reported for the same time last year.
CBS Baltimore reported the number this Monday at 96. For a comparison: In Detroit, 40 people have been killed since the start of 2015.