BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison was among dozens who took to the streets Monday night for an anti-violence walk through parts of the city that are no stranger to shootings.
One stop on that walk was the scene of a double shooting over the weekend that left a 37-year-old man dead.
With a laundry list of concerns, attendees showed up for a chance to vent to Harrison, including city resident Patricia Hughes.
“They say crime is going down, to me crime is still going up because something happens every day of the week,” she said.
City councilman Eric Costello said he organized the walk before this weekend’s wave of violence.
“We are going to do everything we can to keep this neighborhood and every other single neighborhood in Baltimore city safe,” he said.
More than 130 people have been murdered in Baltimore so far in 2019, including four since Friday.
One of those victims is Gerald Brown, a former standout basketball player at Loyola University, a comedian and a father.
Brown was shot Friday night on West Forest Park Avenue.
- Baltimore Police Looking For Tips In Murder Of Former Basketball Player, Community Leader Gerald Brown
- Former Loyola Basketball Player Gerald Brown Among Weekend Shooting Victims
- 37-Year-Old Man Killed In Early Morning Shooting In South Baltimore
- Baltimore Police Investigate Sunday Double Shooting
- 34-Year-Old Shot, Killed In Northwest Baltimore
Monday, Baltimore Police introduced a class of 38 recruits. The commissioner said that’s an answer for residents who want to see more officers on their block.
“We’re having a robust recruiting campaign to recruit more people because he is right, we do need more people out here, but we need to make sure that the people we have are performing to standard,” Harrison said.
During the walk, participants also shared other concerns, including aggressive squeegee kids.
“I’ve never seen it this way,” one city resident said. “I’ve been here 34 years, my parents lived here, it was safe.”
Harrison said there’s a simple solution to that problem.
“If people stop giving them money, that problem will go away, but I sit and watch people giving them money,” he said.
Harrison said officers are deployed and directed to arrest squeegee kids if they commit a crime, but he doesn’t want to take officers away from other key roles.