Homicides in Baltimore rose to 318 in 2016, which came close to New York, even though the city only has a population around 622,000, compared to New York’s 8.5 million. According to law enforcement crime data, total shootings including homicides were up by 30 percent compared to this time last year.
An investigation led by The Baltimore Sun last year found that victims of shooting had a lower survival rate in the Coldstreatm Homestead Montebello neighborhood. This is mainly due to the fact that many of the shooting victims were shot at close blank range. Locals often refer to the area as CHuM, which is located in the northeastern section of Baltimore City. According to the 2000 United States Census General Demographic Characteristics of CHuM, African Americans make up 99 percent of the population.
In 2015, Baltimore attracted scrutiny from the Justice Department after the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered injuries while in police custody. Gray was transported to the local hospital, where he was later succumbed his injuries. Widespread protests broke out and National Guard had to be called in to provide security for the people and to quell the riots. Gray’s death led to the arrest of 6 Baltimore law enforcement officers, but none were ever convicted.
Baltimore’s police chief, Anthony W. Batts, was fired in July, but this did nothing to repair the severed relationship between police and youth. Law enforcement agencies throughout the nation are pressing for greater accountability among police, eliminate racial profiling and cultivate better community relations.