As falls to him as chairman of the Public Safety Committee at each City Council meeting, Councilman Brandon Scott must raise an unpleasant topic.
And with today’s news in particular, there was no smooth segue:
“Not to be a wet blanket,” Scott began at this evening’s meeting.
He went on to note that the three shooting deaths recorded as homicides today bring the city’s total to 101.
“It’s the first time in [nearly] two decades we reached that number this quick,” Scott said. The last time Baltimore had 100 homicides before the end of April was in 1998.
“This is not normal. No one should feel like this is normal,” Scott said, comparing the murder rate in Baltimore so far this year to “the big, bad 90s.”
Stop the Stop-Snitching Culture
Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young spoke on the issue as well, inveighing against what he said was the failure of residents to give the police information they need to stop the bloodshed.
“This stop-snitching culture in Baltimore has got to stop,” Young said.
If a family member has “an $85,000 car and no job,” Young said, “hold them accountable.”
“We really have to start digging deep and turning in our own relatives,” he added.
Today’s victims include a 33-year-old man shot at about 4:30 a.m. at the intersection of Calvert and Lombard streets and a fatal gunshot victim discovered at about 1:30 p.m. in the 2000 block of Federal Street in East Baltimore.
The third homicide, police said, involved a person who succumbed today to complications from injuries suffered in a 2007 shooting in the 200 block of 21st Street.
Scott, who said he “thinks every day” about ways he can help lessen crime and violence in the city, introduced a measure at tonight’s meeting aimed at addressing it.
Bill 17-0063 would create a 20-member “Citizen’s Advisory Commission for Public Safety” to advise the police department.
The commission would make annual recommendations aimed at “creating consistent positive interactions between police officers and community residents.”