Crime in Baltimore, Maryland, has been on the rise since the riots surrounding the death of Freddie Gray, and it doesn’t seem like there’s anything that can stop the violent crime in the city. The police have not been effective in doing so, and the city’s elected leaders barely seem interested in the issue.
Violent crime in the city has gotten so bad that a man was killed on Saturday, shot in his car. He had been driving in a funeral procession when the shots that ended his life were fired.
Dannta Holmes, a 39-year-old who had been driving in a funeral procession, was found after being shot.
According to Detective Jeremy Silbert, the officers heard what sounded like gunfire in the 300 block of N. Moore Street.
According to officers who investigated the scene, their preliminary investigation suggests that the shooters approached the vehicle before opening fire on Dannta Holmes.
After shooting Dannta Holmes, the shooters fled on foot.
Detective Silbert said that Baltimore police had not yet ascertained who the funeral procession was for, which may offer clues as to why the shooting occurred.
Dannta Holmes was not the only person shot in Baltimore on Saturday, however.
Five minutes after Dannta was shot during the funeral procession, a 46-year-old man was shot.
He was shot during an attempted robbery in the Druid Heights neighborhood, but his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
A 24-year old was shot earlier on Saturday, around 3 A.M., but suffered only a graze wound that was not severe or fatal.
On Wednesday of last week, a 30-year-old man was shot in the same neighborhood, Penrose, where Dannta Holmes lost his life. He was wounded but is expected to recover.
On Monday, Baltimore police identified two men killed less than 24 hours apart in the same Baltimore neighborhood.
One, Montrel Rivers, was shot in the upper body, which led to his death. The shooting occurred outside a convenience store.
Ronald Preston, on the same day and in the same neighborhood, was found suffering from a gunshot wound. When he was brought to a local hospital, he was pronounced dead.
As of Monday, March 12, there have been 47 homicides in the city of Baltimore in 2018 thus far.
In 72 days, 47 people have been killed in Baltimore, Maryland. That amounts to a murder every 36 hours.
On a positive note, that is slightly fewer than at this point last year. However, crimes, including murder, generally do not pick up until the warmer months, and heavy snowfall likely played a role in slowing the rate of murders in the city slightly.
Democrat Mayor Catherine E. Pugh, desperate to see some decrease in violence for a city that has had violence issues for years, said on Monday that the city is “moving in the right direction” on violence, but that there is more progress that needs to be made.
Last year, the city of Baltimore set a per-capita record for homicides, with a whopping 342.
A per-capita record means that it was a record when controlling for the population of Baltimore. To put that another way, the portion of people murdered was higher than it had ever been since Baltimore began recording such statistics.
What has Mayor Pugh done to address the violent crime problem?
She fired former Police Commissioner Kevin Davis shortly after the start of the new year and appointed Darryl De Sousa to take his place.
Many suggested that De Sousa being an African-American male who had been in the police department for three decades would offer him ‘greater insight’ into the city and its needs.
Whether or not he lasts in the position will be the real test of his abilities, however. Since 2000, Baltimore has had 8 different police commissioners.
Hopefully, De Sousa’s background will provide him something that Kevin Davis didn’t have, because Davis was highly educated in policing, while De Sousa has an ‘applied liberal arts Bachelor’s Degree.’
Davis, on the other hand, was a graduate of the FBI’s National Academy and its National Executive Institute. He also had a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins.
It is unlikely that De Sousa is any better equipped to handle the city’s crime than Davis was. Further, De Sousa will be taking the reigns of a police department that has felt abandoned by the city’s political class for the last three years.
Only time will tell if Baltimore manages to have another year with 300 homicides or more, but it seems like local politicians are more interested in identity politics than in finding people who can do anything about the crime rate.