Dozens Trade In Guns For Computers As Violence Grips Baltimore City
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Gangs and guns. Those are the targets for Baltimore City Police as a violent summer continues to grip the city.
Now, as officers try to take gang member off the streets, a unique program is getting guns off the streets.
Meghan McCorkell has more.
Police say gangs and guns are responsible for many of the 124 murders in the city this year. Now they’re making moves to take both off the streets.
As bullets fly, neighbors are fed up.
“All this senseless violence is getting ridiculous,” one woman said.
“There’s too much going on, all these gangs and all. We don’t know who we’re walking beside,” another neighbor said.
Investigators–now going after gang members–like 25-year-old Darryl Anderson–who’s wanted for murder.
“He’s Black Guerrilla Family, and we’re going after him. We just need help,” said Col. Darryl Desousa, Baltimore City Police.
But neighbors say that’s not the only key.
“You’ve got to get the guns off the streets,” a man said.
Now–a Baltimore non-profit is offering an incentive to turn in weapons, giving out free laptop computers. Dozens arrived to the Saturday event in downtown Baltimore.
“People are lined up because they want to get something that’s worth something,” said Lance Lucas, Digit All Systems.
“We just feel like if you walk away with computers and additional equipment and resources, that that is a way to stop violence in the city,” said Angela Johnese, mayor’s office.
Within the first hour of the event, more than 30 guns were taken off the streets.
Bob Beavers came with his daughter to exchange a handgun.
“Just get rid of a gun and get it off the street and get my daughter a laptop,” he said.
But the guns being turned in Saturday aren’t necessarily the ones police need off the streets.
“That concerns me because most of the guns that are being used for crimes come in under the black market,”said Linda Towe, Project TOOUR.
Organizers say every gun collected is a victory.
More than 50 guns were turned in–all of them will be destroyed.
Organizers say they hope to hold more events to give out computers in exchange for guns if they can get more funding to do it.