On Friday night, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby unveiled a series of “pop-up” events that will run throughout the summer in an effort to curb violence. The events will provide an outlet for youth as the city continues to see a spike of violence.
Mosby said during an anti-violence event at the Mondawmin Mall that the events will run for the next 11 weeks and occur every Friday night. The night before events, all participants will receive text alerts on events, which will include basketball, night swimming and skating.
“We have to be there for our children before they get to the criminal justice system,” Mosby said. “It’s important for young people to understand we are on their said and we’re going to be supportive of them.”
The Friday night event held at the Mondawmin Mall was combined with a celebration for Gun Violence Awareness Day, featuring a dance group performance and appearances form several local rappers.
Baltimore’s homicide rate was up by 32 percent through the first five months of 2017, compared to the same period last year. Compared to the same period three years ago, the homicide rate was up by 85 percent. The city has seen a spike in carjackings and recent high-profile crimes involving teenagers. Mosby said young people seemed to treat carjackings “like some king of sport.”
This summer, 55 youth will participate in an internship program with the state’s attorney’s office, while being paid by Mosby’s office. Approximately 9,000 youth assisted have found summer jobs throughout the city, Mayor Catherine E. Pugh said.
Dirt bike rider and rapper Chino Braxton took the stage to urge young people to avoid guns. Braxton was shot last year and was a close companion of slain rapper Tyriece “Lor Scoota” Watson.
“I just want everyone in the city to stop the gun violence, stay focused, chase y’all dreams, chase whatever you’re after. Get whatever you want to get in life,” Braxton said.
Youth can sign up for the “pop-up” events by texting “BALTSAOPOPUP” to 468311.