As we’ve previously discussed here, the violent crime and gang violence situation in Baltimore Maryland hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down since the new year began. Charm City recorded an average of more than one murder per day through the month of January. Admirably, community leaders and the local churches once again teamed up last week to attempt another “ceasefire weekend,” imploring the gangs to stay inside and stop the bloodshed for just 72 hours. Unfortunately, it appears that the gangs aren’t in the mood to listen this time around. From Friday through Sunday, fifteen people were shot with three of them not surviving their injuries. (CBS Baltimore)
Though this weekend was the first Baltimore Ceasefire Weekend of 2020, the city still saw violence, with 12 people shot between Friday and Saturday evening, and three more shot Sunday. Three of the victims have died.
The latest shooting reported was at around 10:40 p.m. Sunday night, when officers responded to the unit block of York Court. When they arrived they found the victim had been taken to an area hospital already.
Officers went to that hospital and found a 29-year-old man who had been shot in the neck. He has since been stabilized.
The somewhat clinical CBS report continues on, reading like a military summary from a battlefield. Police respond to reports of gunshots or violence. They find one or more people with gunshot wounds to various parts of their bodies. Most are transported to one of the city’s hospitals. Many are listed as “expected to survive” while other’s aren’t so lucky.
The community organizers who have been trying to recreate the occasional success they had last year aren’t giving up. They include mothers who have lost their children to the bloodshed in the streets as well as pastors from local churches. The trouble is that they appear to have very little influence over the behavior of the gangs. And the police haven’t been able to put a dent in the murder numbers for several years.
That may be about to change. In the next week, a series of surveillance planes with high definition cameras will begin circling the skies over Baltimore 24/7. We’ve written about this project here before. The planes and the infrastructure to support them are being provided at no cost to the taxpayers. The whole thing is being paid for by a pair of wealthy philanthropists from Texas.
The technology on these planes is really incredible. From a great height, they can cover the entire city and record details as small as license plate numbers on vehicles. Once a report of a possible shooting is received, the police will be able to pinpoint the location on the map and use the data from the plane to see everyone who was in the area. They will also be able to track them back to where they came from and to their final destination after the attack. Who knows? Once the word gets out on the street that there’s an eye in the sky, the gang bangers may think twice before pulling the trigger.
We’ll close with this short video report from NBC News demonstrating how the technology works and what they should be able to do. Cross your fingers. Help may finally be on the way for Baltimore’s residents.