The city of Baltimore is in the midst of a slew of homicides with more than 108 homicides and 215 non-fatal shootings this year as of last week–a 17% increase from this time in 2020 and a staggering sum for a city that still has some of the most restrictive lockdown protocols anywhere in the country. Now, outraged residents are asking why Democrat Mayor Brandon Scott is not doing more to address violent crime and calling on Republican Governor Larry Hogan to step in.
While Baltimore has long been one of the most dangerous cities in the country under Democrat governance, violent criminals have become far more brazen in recent attacks. On April 30, the 100th murder in Baltimore this calendar year took place in broad daylight in a residential area. The whole incident was caught on a security camera, which shows the murderer sneaking up behind another man in an alleyway before firing thirteen shots at point-blank range. One of the first victims in the recent killing spree, Kaylia Player, was just 19 when she died. Another victim, Efraim Gordon, 31, was fatally shot last Monday in what police believe was a botched robbery attempt as he walked to a nearby relative’s home. Gordon was visiting the United States from Israel for a cousin’s wedding at the time of his murder. That same day, two Korean women were violently attacked in their own store elsewhere in the city. Many of the suspects of these crimes remain on the loose as police, hamstrung by budget cuts and a lack of support from City Hall, struggle to manage the uptick in crime.
Not surprisingly, Mayor Scott was an early proponent of the “Defund the Police” movement, which appears to be emboldening criminals and straining already thin police resources in Baltimore. Earlier this year, Scott announced the creation of a task force that would “reimagine policing” – a now oft-cited phrase that is liberal jargon for gutting police budgets. According to the Mayor’s office, the task force would develop a “budget-reduction plan” for the Baltimore Police Department even as crime soars to record levels.
When Scott took office in January of 2020, he promised to reduce homicides by 15% each year, including getting Baltimore below 300 homicides during his first year in office. Three hundred thirty-five people were killed in Baltimore in 2020, and the city is on pace to see well over that number of murders in 2021. As long as Scott refuses to support law enforcement and take the necessary steps to crack down on crime, it appears unlikely that Baltimore will see fewer than 300 murders at any point during his tenure.
To make matters worse, Baltimore’s top prosecutor made headlines in March when she announced that the city would no longer prosecute crimes like drug possession and sex work offenses.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan responded to the recent surge with sharp criticism of Baltimore city leadership, saying that “[violent crime] seems to be the last thing that they’re concerned about and they need to come up with a real plan.” Hogan added that “I’ve been very disappointed in the record so far,” mentioning three specific ways that Baltimore could better combat crime: “Number one, we’d have to get tougher laws. Number two, we can’t defund the police, which is the mayor’s plan. We got to invest more in our police… and number three, we have to have a prosecutor that’s willing to prosecute crimes.”
Despite his unwillingness to face reporters or Baltimore residents following the wave of murders in his city, Scott wasted no time in responding to Hogan’s comments via Twitter, saying that “rather than relying solely on status quo ‘solutions’ and MAGA talking points, how about actually meeting with me to discuss violent crime, gun trafficking, or restarting the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council — as I’ve asked before?”
It is unclear why Mr. Scott believes calls to better ensure public safety and enforce the law are “MAGA” talking points.
Last Thursday, the Governor’s office announced that Hogan would meet with Scott and Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison on May 13.
Baltimore’s ongoing crisis is just one among many playing out in ultra-liberal cities throughout the United States that reflects the unmitigated failure of Democrat governance. Mayors and City Councils, facing pressure from radical groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter, have chosen to side with rioters and anti-police activists and turn their backs on police departments desperately struggling to protect residents and property. While mainstream cable news and print outlets may ignore this violence because it is incompatible with their political agenda, AMAC Newsline continues to keep readers up to date on what is truly happening in America’s cities.
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