BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Four children are among the victims of violence that’s surging across much of Baltimore.
WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren reports Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake held a crime walk Monday evening.
The violence keeps surging across Baltimore with shooting after shooting, including a daylight gunfight and a body found near Curtis Bay Elementary School that closed it for the day.
A city councilman says the number of children shot is up from three this time last year to 22–a staggering 600 percent increase.
“It breaks my heart as a mother to know that because of the violence and the recklessness of a few that our children are at risk,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.
Ben Jealous, former national president of the NAACP, believes lack of trust between police and those they serve is a factor.
“I’ve heard this theory that the cops may be trying to slow things down. If that’s true, then either they’re not doing their jobs or they’re actually aiding and abetting the behavior of criminals,” said Jealous.
WJZ highlighted the violent incidents over the weekend on a map and those taking place only since Monday morning. It’s not just the west side seeing bloodshed.
“Government officials have turned deaf ears,” said one activist.
Monday morning, beginning with a prayer, activists urged reforms to police policy in the wake of Freddie Gray.
And while that press conference was underway with community leaders, two men were shot on Aisquith Street–not very far away.
“We are not going to tolerate these kinds of crimes in our city, and we are going to get to the root of the cause of this problem,” said CASA de Maryland Executive Director Gustavo Torres.
While the mayor condemned the violence, she told WJZ it’s not on the rise.
“We have seen a slowdown since the unrest–a slowdown in the violence–but this weekend shows we still have a lot more work to do,” Rawlings-Blake said.
Police again canvassed Darley Park, where two little boys, ages eight and ten, were shot over the weekend.
The city saw 42 killings last month. There have been 12 so far this month.