Baltimore appears to be doing all the right things in its quest to lower violent crime. With a renewed focus on apprehending “trigger pullers” and seizing guns from criminals, police have arrested 822 on gun charges so far this year, an increase of 46 percent over last year. Yet homicides are down just 7 percent compared with the same period last year.
So why aren’t the arrests having any effect? You need look no further than the 822 arrested. Of those, only 52 have been found guilty in court—the rest were either found not guilty, had charges dropped, or charges are still pending. For the 52 found guilty, reduced and suspended sentences mean they will spend just over a year in prison before hitting the streets again.
“There's no deterrent; there's no consequence,” said Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis. “The bad guys know it, and they take advantage of it."