This is news that broke while I was on vacation, but I wanted to circle back and touch on it this week. Baltimore has hit yet another grim milestone as of the end of August and if things don’t turn around, they will likely be on track to have another record-setting year for homicides. As of August 30th, the city had recorded 34 more killings than at the same time in the previous year. They are already well on their way to breaking the 300 mark for the fifth consecutive year. (CBS Baltimore)
Baltimore’s homicide count in 2019 is higher than this time last year. There have been 227 homicides in 2019, while at this time last year there were 193. There were 309 murders in total in Baltimore in 2018.
This comes after two back-to-back quadruple shootings in Baltimore in 24 hours, where two people died, including a 16-year-old boy. There were seven shootings reported Thursday.
Police have released a strategy to help lower crime in the city, but officers have been victims of crimes as well.
As noted above, that’s a significant jump. Late summer and fall (when school is back in session) are, unfortunately, high crime periods, traditionally. Last year, Charm City recorded 116 murders in just the final four months of the year.
And now, as CBS goes on to point out, the Baltimore Police aren’t just out investigating shootings. They’ve become the targets of multiple attacks in recent months. The gang violence is still simply out of control.
Everyone is demanding that something be done, but as we discussed here recently, politicians at both the state and municipal levels have been reluctant to take any serious steps to curb the violence through tougher gun crime sentencing guidelines or slowing down the revolving door of gang members going into and out of jail.
For those saying that this is too tough of a problem or that Baltimore simply “can’t be fixed,” I call horse hockey. As proof, you need look no further than New York City. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, the Big Apple was a war zone. In 1990 there were 2,262 murders in New York City. Last year there were 289. That means that New York City, with a population of more than eight million souls, recorded fewer killings than Baltimore, with a population of barely 600,000 people.
New York turned around their crime problem entirely. It didn’t happen overnight and it took hard work and tough decisions, but they did it. Baltimore’s problem is far smaller and in a more compact area by comparison. They could fix this if the will existed to do so. But at least thus far, it clearly does not.