In a report which comes off as something it felt obligated to address but with as little meaningful information as possible, a story at CNN.com tells readers that "Murder Is Out of Control" in Baltimore — to the point where the city is begging the FBI for additional help.
The story is so utterly devoid of background that those who haven't followed the city's woes closely could read it and believe that the problem just came along this year.
One will search in vain for any mention of the following key players in Baltimore's two-year public-safety deterioration:
- Freddie Gray, whose death in police custody and the unsupported belief that it occurred because of police brutality or neglect sparked rioting in the city in 2015.
- Former Democratic Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, whose infamous statement during the April 2015 rioting — "we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well" — arguably gave those inclined to break the law the idea that there would be little if any penalty for doing so.
- Democrat Marilyn Mosby, the Baltimore State's attorney who attempted to prosecute six officers allegedly involved in Gray's death, and who utterly failed to get anywhere near a single conviction.
What we do see at the story is a tired reference by the city's current mayor that the problem isn't the criminals. No, it's the guns:
Baltimore asks FBI for help: 'Murder is out of control'
The number of homicides in Baltimore this year is soaring -- reaching 100 before the end of April for the first time in nearly two decades -- and the mayor is asking the FBI for more help.
"Murder is out of control," said Mayor Catherine Pugh, at her weekly news briefing Wednesday. "There are too many guns on the streets. We're looking for all the help we can get."
It isn't just "this year" that homicides have been soaring. The murder figures through April during the past four years have been as follows:
2014 — 56
2015 — 73
2016 — 84
2017 — 101
That's a three-year rise which is within striking distance of a doubling.
The rise since 2014 "just so happen" to coincide with the rise of the violent Black Lives Matter movement and the Obama administration's aggressive attempts to rein in common-sense policing tactics.
In a supreme irony, the video accompanying the CNN.com is about the Justice Department's sharp criticism of the Baltimore Police Department's alleged racial profiling practices and excessive brutality. If we could ask them, many of those who have died in the past three years would certainly tell us that they wouldn't have minded more police vigilance in their neighborhoods.
One also suspects that there's a great deal less concern among law-abiding Baltimore citizens about "police terror" than the there is about the terror everyday people feel just being on the streets in many of the city's neighborhoods.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.