Baltimore Police report that 29 people were shot in the city over the Memorial Day weekend, 9 of whom died. The Baltimore Sun reports that 35 residents have been killed by gunfire in the month of May, the most since December 1999. In 2015, 108 Baltimore residents have been murdered with firearms.
CBS Baltimore reported that Councilmember Mary Pat Clarke linked the violence to last month’s riots: “It was an earthquake kind of time and I think we’re still dealing with the aftershock.”
That link deserves a closer examination than simply blaming crime on unrest. Baltimore officials ordered police to let rioters loot, and a longstanding lack of support has left cops demoralized. Fox News reported, “There’s a sentiment here of ‘why bother showing up?”
When Baltimore’s leaders abandon their police, they create a vacuum on the streets—a vacuum that will be filled by violent gangs who sense opportunity.