Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Most Dangerous City In America

Baltimore.

In the years since the Freddie Gray riots, Baltimore police have backed off. The statistical data is clear, Baltimore police are doing less policing. The outcome is clear, too. Here's 6 years of homicides, split on May 1, 2015.


I don't blame the police. You can make a case that they following instructions from the political leadership. If you don't want them noticing crime and making arrests and they stop doing it, are they doing a better job?

Here's where the problem is, though. As a country, our urban areas have become uncivilized. They are not safe to visit, they are not safe to work in, and they are not safe to live in. If you are trying to work and live your life in a city like Baltimore, you have been disarmed by law, and now you cannot depend on the police.  Homicide is only one metric. What about robberies, burglaries, muggings, and the rest?

And if you're a minority, marginalized, and distrustful of police, well, there's good reason. Baltimore police earn their reputation. Eight members of an anti-gun task force convicted for robbing drug dealers? Other officers planting guns and drugs on suspects victims? Hyper violent responses to citizens that are clearly no threat to the officers? That's not the answer, either. It makes the police into just another well armed gang.

...you can truly grieve for every officer who has been lost in the line of duty in this country and still be troubled by cases of police overreach. Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive. You can have great regard for law enforcement and still want them to be held to high standards. 

— John Stewart



3 comments:

Unknown said...

It was exactly 30 years ago this year that David Simon tagged along with the Baltimore PD Homicide department. This, as we all know, Bob, led to his book Homicide: Life on the Killing Streets, which in turn led to his second career, etc.

I bring this up now, because it doesn't sound like a damn thing has changed in 30 years. Except the names.

LSP said...

I nearly moved to Baltimore and I'm glad, now, that I didn't.

To state the obvious -- our urban hellholes are a real issue.

But I won't bang on.

Glen Filthie said...

There is a very politically incorrect racial component to this.