Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Baltimore murders surge in wake of riot

May was Baltimore's deadliest month since 1999, the Baltimore Sun reports. There have been 108 homicides across the city this year, with 35 in the month of May alone.
According to CNN, council member Mary Pat Clarke believes this month's violence is a legacy of the riots and unrest over the death of Freddie Gray after being in police custody in April.
The riots triggered fires and looting in April, and at least 20 officers were injured in the melee. Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and dispatched the National Guard to address the unrest. "It's deplorable," City Councilman William "Pete" Welch told The Sun. "The shootings and killings are all over the city. I don't think any part of the city is immune to this. I've never seen anything like it." Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is "disheartened and frustrated by this continuing violence, particularly when you think about the progress that the city has made," said her spokesman, Howard Libit.
The mayor met for nearly two hours Sunday with Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and members of his command staff about adjustments police are making. "She is confident that the steps being taken by the Police Department will quell this latest uptick in violence," Libit said. Batts wrote a letter to community leaders and elected officials yesterday, telling them he has reassigned "several veteran leaders" to the city's Western District. Batts said the city is "in the midst of a challenging time. ... Please be assured that the Baltimore Police Department is moving aggressively to both address the increase in violence, as well [as] to modernize and better equip ourselves for the future."
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