( 4UMF NEWS ) Baltimore Homicides Worst In 40 Years:
Three more fatal shootings in this troubled city Sunday bring May’s homicide count to 43, making it the most violent month in more than 40 years.
Police say two men were fatally shot in the head about 1 a.m. ET. About 11 a.m., a man was fatally shot in the back.
With 43 homicides, May is the deadliest month since the early 1970s, when 44 people were killed in December 1971 and 45 people in August 1972, according to the Baltimore Sun.
There have been 116 homicides in Baltimore in 2015. By this time last year, homicides hadn’t hit triple digits. As homicides rose in May, the number of arrests plummeted. Some attribute the drop to increased scrutiny of police following the April death of Freddie Gray from injuries received in police custody.
In Baltimore, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts wrote a letter to community leaders Monday, acknowledging the disintegrating relationship between police and the community. He said the police would move “aggressively” to address the violence.
Baltimore, he wrote, is “in the midst of a challenging time. Following a period of civil unrest, we have been experiencing an increase of the pace of violent crime, most notably homicides and shootings.”
Batts told the Sun last week that police have struggled to stop burgeoning violence since the death of Freddie Gray, 25, on April 19 set off days of protests in West Baltimore and prompted Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to put the city under a five-day curfew. Gray died a week after police arrested him from injuries he received while in police custody. On May 21, a grand jury indicted six police officers in Gray’s death.
An investigation by WBAL-TV found a 32% drop in arrests since the curfew. Police arrested 355 people after the curfew, compared with 522 arrests from March 2-8. The station’s inquiry also found that homicide rates are up nearly 40% compared with last year.