On Friday Baltimore ended July with 45 homicides, the largest number of killings the city has witnessed “in a single month in 43 years,” reports the Associated Press.
The carnage, which comes three months after the death of Freddie Gray set the city ablaze in protests and riots, reflects a surge in violence in big cities across the nation for reasons that are yet unclear, the report says.
The news outlet says that homicide numbers in the Baltimore have reached 189, far outstripping the 119 killings that occurred up to July 31, 2014. “Nonfatal shootings have soared to 366, compared to 200 by the same date last year. July’s total was the worst since the city recorded 45 killings in August 1972,” the report says, citing the Baltimore Sun.
Baltimore is in the spotlight after Gray’s death highlighted pervasive problems in the Baltimore Police Department and criminal-justice system.
In an effort to overhaul the BPD and address violence, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on July 8 fired Anthony Batts from the post of police commissioner. But homicides have not slowed under Interim Commissioner Kevin Davis, the report says.
“Too many continue to die on our streets,” Rawlings-Blake said at the time, writes AP. “Families are tired of dealing with this pain, and so am I. Recent events have placed an intense focus on our police leadership, distracting many from what needs to be our main focus: the fight against crime.”
Read more at Yahoo News.