BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Minutes before he was set to speak to reporters Wednesday, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott abruptly canceled a 3 p.m. news conference on public safety as protests unfolded in the nation’s capital.

Scott was set to be joined by Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, Baltimore City Fire Department Chief Niles Ford, and Shantay Jackson, Incoming Director of Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement.

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The news conference had been planned six days into a year that has already seen four homicides and nine non-fatal shootings in the city. By the end of 2020, the city had seen 335 homicides, the sixth consecutive year with more than 300 homicides in the city.

Hours before Scott was set to speak, the Baltimore Police Department announced the results of a year-end initiative to deter carjackings and robberies in the city. The effort, the department said, lowered carjackings by 23% and commercial robberies by 41% in the past four weeks.

In 2020, carjackings were down 13% and commercial robberies were down by 30%, the department said.

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CBS Baltimore Staff