By John Ruberry
Last year there were 211 homicides in Baltimore. As of the 361st day of 2015 there have been 338 murders in Maryland’s largest city. Meanwhile in New York City, which has twelve times the population of Baltimore, there have been 339 killings as this year winds down.
Murders in B’more began their surge after the riots this spring in response to the death in police custody of Freddie Gray in which the city’s hapless mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake all but offered “space to destroy” to the thugs.
Six police officers were indicted for the Gray death, their trial ended with a hung jury. [See correction below.] By all accounts Baltimore’s cops are pushing a little less forcefully as they go about their dangerous job. That and the looting of drugs from Baltimore pharmacies during the riots have unleashed an unprecedented killing spree. Yes, Baltimore had 353 murders in 1993 but 100,000 more people lived there then.
Most of the murder victims have been black, but the Black Lives Matters movement is more interested in protesting the police than bringing attention to the slaughter of African Americans by, yes, other African Americans.
There is no reason to believe that 2016 will be dramatically less violent than this year. Interestingly, there is a mayoral race next autumn in Baltimore. Rawlings-Blake will not be running for reelection, the early favorite to replace her is her predecessor, Sheila Dixon. As part of her plea deal involving her theft of gift cards meant for poor people, Dixon resigned her office. Sure, early polls nearly always favor those with high name recognition, but her popularity is still troubling. Can a convicted criminal be the savior of Baltimore?
It is said in a democracy that voters get the government they deserve.
Correction: The mistrial was for only one of those accused Baltimore cops. Thanks to commenter Holding My Nose for pointing this out.
John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.