One very bad night launches Baltimore ahead of Chicago in murder stats

Earlier this week we talked about how Baltimore was in a “race to the bottom” with Chicago over the weekend in terms of gang murders. While there were six people killed in the Windy City and 37 others wounded in gang related gunfire, Baltimore “only” had one murder and a dozen other shooting victims. On a per capita basis, however, that put them pretty much in the same league.

That changed as the week got underway, and now Charm City has, at least briefly, zoomed past Chicago in the worst sort of record breaking effort. (Fox News, Baltimore)

BALTIMORE (WBFF) — Eight people were shot, six fatally in five separate shooting incidents from Monday night through Tuesday morning.

Police say officers responded to Mount Holly Street near Rokeby Road at around 8:20 p.m. Monday and found an adult male with gunshot wounds to his chest. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

About 15 minutes later, at 8:35 p.m., police were called to S. Bentalou Street near Frederick Avenue for a report of a shooting. Police located 28-year-old Rodney Wheatley suffering from gunshot wounds to his back and arm. Police say Wheatley was taken to Shock Trauma where he died a short time later.

The grim stories continue from there. This has prompted yet another response from Mayor Pugh’s administration and it’s likely going to strain the city’s police force to the breaking point.

Baltimore sees multiple deadly shootings in just a matter of hours. It was a burst of violence that forced the commissioner to make a drastic move today.

All uniformed officers will be on mandatory 12-hour shifts, as the city hustles to control the crime.

Ava-joye Burnett reports the violence spilled over from the night into broad daylight today.

Various cities experience tragedies, emergencies and spikes in crime which require our first responders to go that extra mile. But there are limits to such efforts if we’re being realistic about it. You can only ask the cops to go twelve-on twelve-off for so long before moral begins to wear down and officers are so exhausted that they’re not operating at 100% efficiency. There’s also the more mundane matter of paying for all of that overtime. Keep in mind that Baltimore is a city which just this month finished a bruising budget battle which resulted in two million dollars in cuts to the police budget and still left the city facing a deficit.

Unfortunately, crying poverty will not be a good enough excuse for the residents or the police themselves. The murder total as of Tuesday stood at 159 homicides for the year. That’s compared to 124 at the same time in 2016. Something has got to give soon.