Social distancing may be helpful in slowing the spread of a virus, but it doesn’t do a thing in terms of gang violence because six feet is still considered a very short range when aiming a handgun. That may be the lesson coming out of Charm City as the pandemic grinds on. Private businesses and schools may be shut down, but the gang bangers still out there murdering each other with abandon. The body count in Baltimore from gang warfare is still leaving the coronavirus in the dust. (Baltimore Sun)
Since March 23, the city has seen 11 killings in 12 days, with at least 18 more people shot and wounded. That doesn’t include a man fatally shot by a police officer. March finished with 18 homicides, a number in line with what’s typically been recorded during the month in recent years.
But the overall crime picture remains more complex. Total reported crime in Baltimore has indeed dipped, as have calls to 911, data show. Reported property crime is down considerably: Burglaries, larcenies and auto thefts have fallen each of the past three weeks, and have been cut in half compared with the same period last year.
That is keeping with a trend reported in other cities where stay-at-home orders and general fears about the coronavirus have driven down crime. But Baltimore, like other cities, continues to see gunfire.
Amazingly, following the declared state of emergency, Baltimore didn’t record a single murder for five straight days. I’m fairly sure that’s a record for the city going back quite a few years. Sadly, once that brief break was over, the situation returned to what passes for “normal” in Charm City and there was an average of one killing per day for the rest of the month. That still leaves them on track for another year with somewhere in the range of 350 murders.