Baltimore we have a problem!
And I’m not talking about police excessive force or the shooting of unarmed black men.
The numbers are startling.
In just 72 hours, this past Memorial Weekend 29 people were shot, 7 were killed.
This month is the city’s deadliest in more than a decade, since 1999.
There have been 108 homicides so far this year, up 40 percent from last year.
City officials are dumbfounded to say the least.
The mayor says it’s disheartening.
The Police Chief Anthony Batts blames, in part, the recent unrest.
“Officers tell me and their supervisors, any time they pull up to respond to a call, they have 30 to 50 people surrounding them. We have to send in multiple units just to do basic police work, which says we have to work on community engagement.”
Batts has added more officers and presence in the Western District where most of the violence is occurring but so far it hasn’t helped.
“It makes it very difficult to follow up on violence that takes place there,” he said. “Clearly, they’re not holding back. They’re getting to those locations and getting surrounded. You have many citizens with hand-held cameras that they’re sticking in the faces of officers, an inch off the officer’s face.”
The real story however may not be anything Batts or the Mayor want to admit.
Arrests numbers are plummeting while the murder rate is surging.
Listen to a part of this report from my CNN colleague Miguel Marquez.
The officer’s voice is disguised for fear of retribution.
Miguel – “And morale? Where is morale for police officers?”
Officer – “It’s in the sewers. It’s down. It’s the worse of the worse I’ve ever seen in my career.”
The officer told Miguel the spike in murders and gun crime was the direct result of a coordinated police work slowdown.
Miguel – “Why do you think there is a great increase in the crime rate and the number of shootings in this town?”
Officer – “Officers stopped being proactive.
Miguel – “Not patrolling?”
Officer – “Not patrolling. Just stop being proactive.
Miguel – “Not talking to the community?
Officer – “Not talking. Stop being proactive. I believe it is a direct result of officers holding back.”
35 murders so far this month alone.
People are walking into hospitals from gunshot wounds that may not have even been reported to police.
Residents tell reporters they see officers driving right past street fights and disturbances.
City leaders, like Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, are in the same predicament as New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio after two officers were murdered during unrest in that city.
Officers turned their backs to De Blasio as he visited injured officers in the hospital and at the officer’s funerals.
But officers in Baltimore, according to at least one of their own, are turning their backs on not only the Mayor but also the citizens they’re sworn to protect.
Here are a list of the shootings and homicides from this weekend.
2300 Preston Street
May 22, 2015 4:08 pm
On May 22, 2015 at approximately 4:08 pm, officers responded to the 2300 block of Preston Street for a report of a shooting. Upon arrival, they located a 21-year old male suffering from a gunshot wound to his shoulder. He was transported to an area hospital for treatment. His injury is reported to be non-life threating at this time. Eastern District Detectives are investigating and ask anyone with information to call 410 396 2433.
Unit Block of Benkert Ave
Mayy 22, 2015 at approx 11:06 pm
On May 22,2015 at approximately 11:06 pm oficers responded to the intersection of W. Baltimore and N. Hilton St for a report of a dischargin of a firearm. Upon their arrival they located an adult male suffering from at least one gunshot wound to his torso. The victim was immediately transported to an area hospital for treatment. Despite all medical life saving efforts, he died because of his injuries at 11:37 pm. Through investigation, detectives have been able to determine that the shooting too place in the unit blk of Benkert Ave. Homicide detectives are investigating and ask that anyone with information please call 410-396-2100.
1900 Wilhelm St
May 22, 2015 at approx. 11:51 pm
On May 22, 2015 at approximately 11:51 pm, officers responded to the 1900 block of Wilhelm St for a report of firearms discharging. Upon arrival they located and adult male suffering from a gunshot wound to his head. Officers then located a second adult male victim who was suffering from a gunshot wound to his neck. As officers were securing the scene, a third, adult male, victim was located at the corner of Pratt and Payson St. The third victim was suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. All the victims were transported to an area hospital for treatment. Despite life saving efforts, the first victim, who was shot in the head, died because of his injuries at 12:20 am. The second two victims are listed in critical condition at this time. Homicide detectives are investigating and ask that anyone with information please contact them at 410-396-2100.
1800 Edmondson Ave
May 23, 2015 at approx. 5:40 am
On May 23, 2015 at approximately 5:40 am, officers responded to the 1800 block of Edmonson Ave for a report of a shooting. Upon arrival, they located an adult male was suffering from gunshot wounds to his leg and thigh. He was immediately transported to an area hospital for treatment. While at the hospital with the first victim, officers observed two additonal victims walk in to the hospital seeking treatment for gunshot wounds. Both victims were adult males, one was suffering from a gunshot wound to the thigh and the other male was suffering from a gunshot wound to the ankle. Western district detectives are investigating and ask that anyone with information to please call 410-396-2477.
100 S Augusta Ave
May 23, 2015 at approx 9:06 am
On May 23,2015 at approximately 9:06 am, officers responded to the 100 block of S Augusta Ave for a person reported to be laying in the alley. Upon arrival they located a male (age unknown at this time) suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to his body. Emergency medical assitance was immediately called. Despite their efforts the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Homicide detectives are investigating and ask that anyone with information please contact them at 410-396-2100.
2000 block of Hollins St
May 23, 2015 at approx. 1:33 pm
On May 23, 2015 at approximately 1:33 pm, officers responded to the intersection of Hollins and Payson St for a report of weapons discharging. Upon arrival they located an adult female suffering from a gunshot wound to her waist. The victim was immediately transported to an area hospital for treatment. Despite all lifesaving efforts, she died because of her injuries. Homicide detectives are investigating and ask that anyone with information to please contact them at 410-396-2100.