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Neighborhood Tensions Boil Over During City State’s Attorney’s News Conference

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Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Tensions boil over at a news conference held by the city state’s attorney to announce more convictions of violent criminals–but some community members say it’s not enough.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the interruption.

The state’s attorney called the news conference to tout his office’s latest convictions, but it was a concerned community member that stole the spotlight.

In the middle of a news conference by City State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein, neighborhood tensions boiled over.

“Baltimore, it’s hell out here. Trust me, I don’t even come out after 7 o’clock. I’m ready to go into the house now because after it gets dark, I don’t walk these streets,” said a resident.

Bernstein was interrupted as he spoke to reporters at the scene of a 2007 murder. His office recently secured a conviction in that case and several others.

But one community member says it’s not enough.

“It seems like you all ain’t catching a damn soul. Now the people you were just talking about, that’s all well and fine but just for them people you caught, there’s like 10 more out here walking around,” he said.

Bernstein says he agrees with that man, vowing to put more violent repeat offenders behind bars.

“Working with police and the public, we are successfully prosecuting the individuals who choose to hurt and kill others,” Bernstein said.

The state’s attorney has started a major investigations unit to target what he calls the worst of the worst. Its goal?

“To prosecute and win cases, tough cases, against the city’s worst offenders,” said Thiru Vignarajah, Major Investigations Unit.

Bernstein says the community needs to help out to put criminals behind bars.

Earlier this month, leaders announced two experienced city prosecutors will move to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to push for federal charges against gang leaders and repeat offenders.

Bernstein is up for re-election for city state’s attorney and is facing a number of challengers.

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