Suddenly everyone wants to crack down on crime as murders explode in Baltimore – where activists pushed to defund the police

Share:

BALTIMORE, MD – The evening of October 6th was a tumultuous one in Baltimore City, with six individuals shot and one killed at an East Baltimore intersection, according to police. And now calls are coming in for the city to crack down on crime in areas where the city is most afflicted.

Violent crime and shootings have been rocking Baltimore for some time, with the city seeing throughout the past summer and moving into the fall homicides and non-fatal shootings remain unmoved despite efforts from city officials to curb the violence.

Back in July, Mayor Bandon Scott announced the Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan, a five-year plan that the mayor hopes will see a reduction in gun violence by at least 15% each year over the course of the five-year effort:

“There is no secret that violent crime is Baltimore’s most pressing challenge.”

The effort reportedly attempts to craft a more holistic approach to addressing crime, as opposed to the traditional approach of cracking down on crime with a proverbial strong arm. Mayor Scott referenced the violence of October 6th to stress that a more rounded approach could be beneficial:

“It is clear that yesterday’s status quo solutions have not created sustainable results for Baltimore’s neighborhoods and communities. Never before has Baltimore developed a holistic violence prevention strategy.”

While optimism is never exactly a bad thing, data from previous administrations in the city shows that the time-tested strong arm approach to tackling crime is effective.

During former Mayor Martin O’Malley’s administration in the early 2000s, his “zero tolerance” approach to crime wound up driving down both violent and property crime by a staggering 42%. And said decline continued under former Mayor Sheila Dixon, although she wasn’t as zealous as Mayor O’Malley, she still employed a data-focused approach to targeting crime with a heavy hand where needed.

Baltimore Police are one of the handful of police departments across the nation that are bound by a consent decree due to numerous allegations and confirmations of constitutional violations that some say stemmed from the zero-tolerance era of policing.

But some experts believe that there’s an effective happy-medium that can be achieved between zero-tolerance policing and a seemingly too-soft approach that affords copious amounts of leeway for would-be offenders.

Charles Fain Lehman with the Manhattan Institute thinks that strategic deployment of police officers is key to achieving a desired reduction in crime without running afoul of consent decrees:

“We know that crime is a highly concentrated phenomenon…The best and more effective tool we have available for deterring crime is the deployment of police officers to specific areas and there’s lots and lots of evidence to support that.”

When Baltimore City Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer was asked whether they believe Mayor Scott’s Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan is working as intended, they responded with the following:

“We are in the beginning stages of implementing the Mayor’s Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan and we need to make sure it gets fully implemented. But, absolutely we need to hold these violent offenders accountable, increase clearance rates and make it clear that if you shoot someone in Baltimore you’ll get apprehended.”

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

After defunding the police, shootings and killings are inundating Baltimore’s “trauma response team”

(Originally published September 30th, 2021)

BALTIMORE, MD – Baltimore’s Trauma Response Team is reportedly being inundated with responding to families experiencing the suffering that comes with acts of violence and murders, with the team’s chief saying that violent crime is “out of control” and they’ve been forced to triage responses to grieving families.

While instances of shootings and murders bring to mind police investigations revolving around them, Dr. Andre Humphrey leads a team whose efforts are just as pivotal in the aftermath of violent crime: guiding impacted families to resources needed in the wake of loss.

With Humphrey serving as the chief of Baltimore’s Trauma Response Team, recent times have been particularly difficult as the calls are coming in on a daily basis – be they shootings or homicides.

Humphrey says with the pattern of violent crime ongoing in the city, he and his team simply cannot keep up with helping these suffering families.

Baltimore has already surpassed 250 homicides in 2021, with reportedly 16 of them occurring over the last week in September. Even though Humphrey says he and his team plan to respond to all the families affected, he hasn’t been able to and has been forced to triage cases for the time being:

“We prioritize especially when they are children, in the last couple of weeks we’ve been having a lot of shootings with juveniles.”

As he and his team are working as efficiently as possible, Humphrey did express that it wears down on him when he cannot tend to a family promptly:

“When I haven’t reached certain families, I feel like I let them down.”

Humphrey says that with as bad as the violent crime is in the city, he’d need to larger task force to assist families:

“We need a bigger task force to deal with the situations so we can be everywhere, it’s an endless war and a nightmare that’s a reality.”

In other news regarding violent crime in Baltimore, police recently apprehended the suspect wanted for a June non-fatal shooting of a 33-year-old victim.

Baltimore Police arrested 36-year-old Willie James McDonald on September 15th under charges of attempted first-degree murder. Authorities say that McDonald shot the unnamed victim on June 21st at approximately 2:45 a.m. in the area of the 1000 block of Cathedral Street.

Police say that at the time of McDonald’s September 15th arrest, he was allegedly in possession of a loaded firearm. However, there were no reports of there being any arising incidents during McDonald’s arrest.

McDonald is currently being detained at the Baltimore City Central Booking Intake Facility.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

Baltimore City promises to remove street sign honoring convicted drug dealer, calls it an “oversight”

(Originally published September 11th, 2021)

BALTIMORE, MD – City officials in Baltimore have promised to remove a street sign that pays homage to a convicted drug dealer who was fatally shot in March of 2020, claiming that the transportation department experienced an “oversight” in the honorary sign approval process.

Back in August, the city of Baltimore approved the naming of a portion of the road at Washington and Ostend Streets as “Anthony ‘Mo$’ Covington Way”, which references 27-year-old Anthony Covington who was fatally shot on March 28th, 2020.

Covington was among three other people shot along the 1100 block of Washington Boulevard at approximately 9:30 p.m. on March 28th, 2020 but was the only person who didn’t survive the shooting.

Police said that three shooters exited a vehicle and opened fire on all of the victims before fleeing the scene.

There are currently no reports that indicate any suspects have been arrested or identified from the 2020 case.

Apparently, Baltimore runs a program where residents can apply for ceremonial street signs in remembrance of lost loved ones. However, Covington’s streets sign that was placed up in August caused some local outrage, considering the deceased’s criminal background.

Covington was reportedly convicted of narcotics distribution back in 2017 and was subsequently sentenced to 3 years in prison. One local resident, who spoke under anonymity, had the following to say about the street sign:

“He sold drugs there. When someone has a dollar sign as part of their name, there is a problem.”

Another local resident stated that individuals like Covington are not someone that should be put up on a pedestal by city officials:

“That’s not something you glorify.”

Some locals were perplexed as to how a convicted and locally known drug dealer managed to have his name emblazoned on a street sign:

“It’s unconscionable. When a neighborhood is up and coming how are they going to up and come when this is okay?”

Seemingly anyone can apply for one of these ceremonial signs, and the approval process apparently involves a handful of agencies and even requires the sign off from the mayor’s office.

When transportation officials were asked by local news outlet Fox 45 as to how Covington’s name landed on a street sign despite his criminal record, the transportation department simply said it was “an oversight from our right-of-way division.”

One September 8th, the city confirmed that they’ll be not only removing the street sign with Covington’s name – but also making some changes on the approval process so as to not have something like this happen again, according to transportation spokesman German Vigil:

“Moving forward, the department will revamp the ceremonial street sign program and introduce new and specific requirements for eligibility.”

_

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
 
Facebook Follow First
Share:
Related Posts