Baltimore experienced its 305th murder this week, hitting a grim milestone. The city of more than 620,000 people now has the highest per capita murder rate in its entire history.

The Baltimore Sun reports the city now experiences 49 murders per 100,000 people, making Baltimore the second most dangerous city in the country behind St. Louis.

The city has announced a new effort designed to combat the rise in crime, including forcing police who normally work desk jobs to patrol the streets. However, the real impeteus behind the rising crime rate does not appear to be a lack of resources, but a lack of community respect for law enforcement and a reluctance by police to act aggressively to stop crime.

The city has been in turmoil since the April 19, 2015, death of Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police. Gray’s death inspired protests against police brutality which eventually turned violent. Gray’s death seemingly also triggered a dramatic increase in crime. According to WBAL 11, from the beginning of the year to April 21, there were 62 homicides, or about .56 homicides a day. However, after April 21, the rate increased to more than one homicide per day. Even the replacement of Police Commissioner Anthony Batts in July did nothing to slow the rate of killing.

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, a WND columnist and the author of “The Antidote,” slammed the protests against police, especially by the Black Lives Matter movement as contributing to the problem of lawlessness.

“I’m not sure if they’re directly responsible, but they’re definitely encouraging the lawlessness and the atmosphere that has made it hard for police to do their job,” Peterson told WND. “All as a result of pressure from so-called black leaders and liberal Democrat politicians to stop profiling blacks and minorities. It’s also typical for crime and homicides to increase in the inner cities whenever Democrats are in charge. Baltimore is a prime example.”

Baltimore police reported earlier this year street gangs are targeting law enforcement. Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby endorsed a tweet calling police officers “thugs.” The Department of Justice has also begun an oversight program to investigate allegations of police brutality in the department.

As a result of these factors, some believe Baltimore police are reluctant to patrol or intervene to stop crime, thus ceding control of the streets to the lawless,

Jack Cashill, a WND columnist and the author of ”Scarlet Letters,” believes the Baltimore authorities, particularly Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, have unleashed this crime wave by restraining police.

“It is no accident Baltimore has its highest ever per capita homicide rate,” Cashill told WND. “When the authorities enfeeble the police, they empower the thugs. Since the media only care about crime when a white person commits it, the daily slaughter of blacks by other blacks goes all but unnoticed. If you don’t see a problem, you feel little need to solve it.”

Peterson says the Democratic leadership of Baltimore needs to “back off and allow law enforcement to do their jobs.” He thundered: “The public needs to support the police and encourage their elected officials to back up the police. The criminals committing these crimes need to be arrested, and we need to throw the book at them!”

But Colin Flaherty, who chronicled nationwide black mob violence against whites in ”White Girl Bleed a Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore It,” argues the people of Baltimore itself are complicit in crime wave.

“Baltimore is a race conscious city with lots and lots of opportunities for white people to become victims of violent crime,” Flaherty said. “Criminals are treated as victims of white racism — that’s why so many are on the streets after spending so little time in prison. The people who catch criminals, the police, are now treated as the real criminals, and are arrested and held in disgrace.”

Flaherty charged this attitude goes all the way up to the Baltimore city government. “We saw all of this during the Baltimore riots,” he observed. “The mayor gave the criminals, in her own words, ‘space to destroy.’ Yet we know now police were begging for assistance in the face of active and aggressive hostility. And they were abandoned.”

Peterson says one of the most harmful trends is the rise of the “Stop Snitching” movement among many African-Americans. The city has been the setting for a number of “Stop Snitching” DVD’s designed to discourage residents from speaking to police. The 14-year-old son of the films’ creator was gunned down in 2014.

Peterson believes the African-American community’s reluctance to work with police plays a “major role” in the current crime wave. “This ‘stop snitching’ idea is out of control in the black community,” Peterson said. “People are afraid to report crimes because they’re afraid of retaliation and violence by the thugs. If black people cooperated more with police, the culture of violence would happen less frequently.”

Flaherty says that is unlikely to happen. “’Stop Snitching’ is simply the tail,” he said. “Hostility toward white people and white laws and white privilege, a sentiment which now appears to be completely mainstream, is the dog.”

Peterson argues the responsibility for confronting crime relies primarily with blacks. If whites bear responsibility, he told WND, it’s because whites “refuse to be honest due to their fear of being called ‘racist.’”

But Flaherty believes Baltimore’s culture of crime will not be changing any time soon.

“Violent crime is an every-day part of life in Baltimore,” he grimly observed. “People think it’s normal. Those who don’t think its normal moved out long ago.”

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.