Forty-five homicides in July mark Baltimore’s deadliest month in 43 years, and the worst since the city recorded that same number of killings in 1972 according to the Baltimore Sun. At 189 to date, the city is tragically outpacing the 119 recorded this time last year, a 59 percent increase.
Residents accuse police of abandoning their posts after six officers were indicted in the death of Freddie Gray, and believe emboldened criminals have been settling scores with little risk of being caught.
Crime experts blame a perfect storm of factors: Police mistrust, lack of opportunities for young black men and the influx of prescription narcotics looted from pharmacies during the recent riots.
The city’s inability to contain the violence prompted Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to fire her police commissioner July 8. "Too many continue to die on our streets," said Rawlings-Blake. "Families are tired of dealing with this pain, and so am I.”