Crime Surges As Arrests Drop In Baltimore Post-Riots, Mayor Frustrated
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Via FOX News
Crime is rising in Baltimore, and some law enforcement experts suspect an anti-cop climate stemming from the racially charged case of Freddie Gray is at least partly responsible.
Homicides in 2015 so far stand at 100, up from 71 for the same period last year, and on pace to be the Charm City’s deadliest year since 2007. Nonfatal shootings are up 70 percent this year, following a particularly violent week that saw 19 people shot on Tuesday and Wednesday alone.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Thursday. “It is disheartening, but I am still resolved to continue to reduce violent crime in our city.”
The current year was already trending the wrong way before the April 12 incident in which Gray suffered fatal injuries wile in police custody. Six Baltimore police officers were indicted Thursday in the case, which sparked protests that degenerated into rioting and looting last month.
Critics have suggested that the city’s police force, bitter at what they see as a lack of support from Rawlings-Blake and other city leaders, may be implementing a slowdown. Other say the cops can’t be blamed if they are hesitant to police aggressively in the face of a hostile community.
“Regarding the crime increase in the western district, this is certainly a contentious time in our city and we believe there is a criminal element taking advantage of the situation, Gene Ryan, President of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #3 in Baltimore said in a statement to FoxNews.com. “Police are not responsible for the systemic issues of poverty that have plagued our communities. There has been a lot of finger pointing and the weight is heavy on our officers’ shoulders.”
Rawlings-Blake said Baltimore has faced crime spikes in the past and managed to reverse them. She said she was “confident” that the police department would do so again. More