It was a noble effort to be sure and a pretty good plan (all things considered) for as long as it lasted. Sadly, that wasn’t terribly long at all. We’re talking about the effort by some Baltimore community leaders to enact a 72 hour “ceasefire” in the city. John noted the kickoff of the effort on Friday, while I’d described my own concerns about the prospects for success a couple of weeks earlier. It was an effort that was labeled nobody kill anybody weekend, and it was supposed to run from Friday morning until Sunday night.
They made it until Saturday afternoon. (Reuters)
A 24-year-old man was shot and killed in Baltimore on Saturday, police said, breaking a 72-hour “ceasefire” called by activists who had pleaded for a pause in the city’s record homicide rate.
Community leaders organized around the social media hashtag Baltimore Ceasefire issued a general plea that “no one kills anyone” during the 72 hours of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
After no homicides were reported on Friday, the fatal shooting occurred shortly after 5 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Saturday, police said in a statement.
“The victim was rushed to an area hospital by friends,” police said, but he was pronounced dead at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
As I said previously, it was a gallant and worthwhile effort. At this point somebody had to try something, and it might as well start with the community. And if we’re going to charitably count the “weekend” as beginning one minute past midnight Friday morning, the city managed to make it 41 hours without a murder. (There was another shooting earlier on Saturday but the victim survived.) As terrible as it may sound to say it aloud, that’s really not too shabby for Baltimore. We’re now 216 days into 2017 and the body count in the city is just slightly less than that number, averaging roughly one murder per day. If they’d managed to make it seven more hours that would have been two straight days.
Okay, that’s not really a good statistic by any definition, but it’s better than nothing.
Unfortunately, the group organizing the ceasefire took to their social media pages to decry the violence but somehow couldn’t resist the temptation to spread the blame around a bit too far. (Emphasis added)
“There is a war going on in Baltimore right now. We are experiencing genocide among our African-American males, both by the hands of the Police Department and from one another. We the people need a call to action in order to save the city and our community for our future generations,” Baltimore Ceasefire said on its Facebook page.
A “genocide… by the hands of the Police Department?” Not for nothing, but I was looking through the list of possible lethal force encounters with police for 2017 and I managed to find one. And that guy was holding a foot-long knife to the throats of a one year old and a four year old when negotiations finally broke down and the cops took him out. By contrast (falling into the category of “from one another” mentioned by the ceasefire group), criminals have murdered more than 210 of you in Charm City. That’s significantly more than in New York City and Baltimore is less than one tenth the size of the Big Apple.
I realize that many folks out on the streets are still upset over the whole Freddie Gray thing, but talking about some sort of “police genocide” at this juncture seems to be leading us off the path of what might otherwise be a productive discussion. You seem to be off to a good, or at least potentially promising start with this idea of community leaders trying to reach out to the gang members and cut back on the killing. Perhaps we should concentrate on that for a while rather than blaming the police. The Black Guerilla Family, the Bloods and the Crips are the problem you really need to be focusing on.