Changes Made In Baltimore City Police Force After More Than 50 Are Shot In 3 Weeks
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Day after day, the bullets keep flying in Baltimore. Communities across the city are paralyzed with fear.
This–as city leaders make changes to try and put a stop to the barrage of bullets.
Meghan McCorkell has more on what’s being done.
The mayor is set to make a major announcement Thursday morning. This–after two more people were gunned down in the city in the middle of the day.
Communities in crisis.
“It’s got to stop. It’s got to stop,” a man said.
Horror and heartbreak as a summer of violence steals more lives.
“It feels like it’s history repeating itself, a West Baltimore neighbor said.
Two more people murdered Wednesday as they sat on the steps of a West Baltimore home.
“They shooting innocent bystanders. You know what I’m saying?” another neighbor said.
Shootings are up 13 percent this year, with murders up 11 percent. Those in charge are trying to battle back.
The mayor is out on community crime walks every night this week. She’s expected to announce new crime reduction efforts on Thursday.
The head of the Fraternal Order of Police says Baltimore City needs to get more serious about violent crime.
“The citizens have to go to court and they have to be willing to convict,” said Bob Cherry, President, FOP. “Otherwise, the recidivism rate just continues. I mean, these folks just get back on the street and they’re doing the same thing again.”
The police commissioner is shaking things up–making some big changes to his top brass. Those changes include new leadership for four patrol districts and key investigative units.
He’s increased patrols in hot spots, but the fear remains.
“They’ve been patrolling around here for a good while now. But they still find a way to do what they do,” said Linda Faulkner.
As WJZ has reported, the commissioner says the drug trade and a federal crackdown on a violent gang, the Black Guerrilla Family, are partly to blame for the bloodshed.
He also blames city juries, saying people feel they can get away with murder.
“These are not numbers for me. We talk about outrage, these are not numbers. These are human beings. These are people,” the commissioner said.
With constant killings, many say they’re scared to be on the streets.
Since the beginning of the year, 124 lives have now been lost in the city of Baltimore.
The mayor will hold a news conference Thursday alongside the commissioner and both the U.S. and State’s Attorneys to talk about crime reduction efforts.