Murders are on the rise in Baltimore and arrests by police are down. One possible reason: Cops are making fewer arrests, part of a deliberate work slowdown after six police officers were arrested for Freddie Gray, Jr.’s  death in police custody.

In May, Baltimore experienced 43 murders, the deadliest month in the city in 40 years. Arrests are down 50 percent.

This week, another shooting happened near Dajanai Myers’ home.

“It’s not surprising anymore to see police tape or to see a body in the street. “It’s not surprising, because it happens all the time,” Myers told CBS News.

The Baltimore police union issued a statement saying officers are “under siege” and “more afraid of going to jail for doing their jobs properly than they are of getting shot on duty.”

Six officers were charged in the death of Freddie Gray. But police point out in the riots that followed his funeral, more than 150 officers were hurt.

This is a troubling trend where police officers sworn to protect and serve are seemingly intentionally backing off from making arrests in Black communities in Baltimore.

Some community activists argue, correctly, that excessive use of force by police and police-related deaths involving young African American men are driving the surge the violent crimes.

But there is a sad reality that Black America must also confront: Some of our Black young men are gang-bangers who are shooting each other with impunity and these young men need to be arrested and locked up.

Does the media – like Fox News — disproportionately seize on stories about Black on Black crime? Yes. But we must also accept the fact that young men are killing each other everyday and that has absolutely nothing to do with police abuse and misconduct.

Still, the violence continues and law enforcement experts and community activists have no idea when it will end.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told reporters. “It is disheartening, but I am still resolved to continue to reduce violent crime in our city.”

Sadly, Baltimore is part of a national pattern of rising crime in America where gun violence is spiraling out of control.

In Milwaukee, homicides were up 180% by May 17 over the same period the previous year. Through April, shootings in St. Louis were up 39%, robberies 43%, and homicides 25%.

“Crime is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” St. Louis Alderman Joe Vacarro said during a May 7 City Hall hearing.

The Wall Street Journal reported that murders in Atlanta were up 32% as of mid-May. Shootings in Chicago had increased 24% and homicides 17%. Shootings and other violent felonies in Los Angeles had spiked by 25%; in New York, murder was up nearly 13%, and gun violence had increased by 7%.

In an April press conference at the White House, President Barack Obama said: “You’ve got some of the same organizers now going back into these communities to try to clean up in the aftermath after a handful of criminals and thugs who tore up the place.”

Obama was right. But what bothers me is that we can’t have an honest characterization of lawbreakers without criticism.

Baltimore Pastor Jamal Bryant, who delivered a eulogy for Freddie Gray, Jr. said Obama was guilty of “Black-on-Black crime” for calling the city’s rioters “thugs.”

“They have committed Black on Black crime by using that word against people who look just like them. Absolutely,” the Empowerment Temple AME Church pastor told Fox News.

I disagree with Bryant. So what was Obama supposed to call the looters? Protesters? Demonstrators? Freedom fighters?

The crime rate in America’s urban cities continues to escalate and while there are many complex social, systemic, racial and cultural reasons for the hopelessness and despair, we can’t ignore the senseless violence.

The innocent people who live in those communities are impacted by thug culture – senior citizens who are afraid to leave their homes for medicine; children who are shot by stray bullets; young Black men who are strong-armed into joining gangs; and single mothers who worry about their kids walking home from school alone.

We can’t disregard these facts. We have to deal with them.

What do you think?

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21 thoughts on “Rising Body Count In Baltimore Proves We Have To Face Our Own Problems

  1. To the many racist pigs here pretending to be Black.
    People who talk about, “are reaction to Whites but look at what Blacks are doing,” never been involved with community improvement because they don’t talk like that. First of all there should not be a comparison in the first place. Don’t throw Whites in Black peoples face where it don’t belong. We can’t control what others do; just because Blacks kill Blacks, just like other races kill members of their race, don’t give Whites any damn justification to kill Blacks. Any Black fool who thinks we don’t care about killings in the Black community “JUST BECAUSE IT HAPPENS” is Racist and Nuts. If you think any race or ethnicity has the answer for stopping homicide among their people then who are they? No I don’t get many ‘likes’ because some Black people don’t like the truth, but know this, other people out there are not stupid and they pick up on that. LifeSkills #blackfolk http://www.blackplanet.com/lifeskills1

  2. MacBen on said:

    …been saying this for years and got accused of being white as if that was worse than the black criminal behavior! Wow.

    • “Without self-confidence we are like babes in a cradle. And how can we generate this imponderable quality, which is yet so invaluable, most quickly? By thinking that other people are inferior to oneself. By Virginia Woolf “

  3. Number_8_of_8 on said:

    What else is new? We act like this hasn’t been going on until now. We have put up with complacent and trifling folks in our community since desegregation. The thing is now that other minorities have stepped in, we haven’t stepped up. Look at what is being perpetuated- disgusting fashion, disgusting music(?), lack of interest in education, discipline and disrespect of one another. Every other group is gaining and we are LOSING. We don’t own anything or make anything but trouble. Black kids are being raised by themselves. We all want to be celebrities and look good and not take care of business or give our time and money to help the community we live. Instead we throw out trash on the street an complain that the garbage is not being picked up. When is the last time we planted a tree or gone to a school board meeting?

    By the way, jhuf, is one of those conservative weasels that comb sites like this just to make a dumb comment

    • straightnochaser on said:

      Your comments are so true. Not to mention, the same Black folks complaining about the President ‘not doing anything for Black folks’ don’t even know the alderman/woman who represents their wards where they live, who the mayor or their cities are, who sits on their school boards, who’s responsible for teaching their children, etc. We are steadily losing, ad to think of all the soldiers who came before us, and all they endured, jut to have our young people throw it all away as if it never mattered.

    • jhuf on said:

      Your Conservative preachings of Self Reliance, Taking Responsibility and ownership, Non-dependance is what we conservatives speak of all the time,,,careful you might get labeled a heartless republican racist

    • Wow … very honest and serious post! I would like to add that the breakdown in the family is a scourge on our communities. Absent Fathers more interested in banging anything that walks as opposed to treasuring a wife and taking care of their children.

    • Parents like yours need to be careful what they say around kids; planting seeds. When a kid hears a parent or someone they look up to say negative things about a Black; they think less of Blacks, or negative about women they learn bigotry, and may repeat these things.

  4. Jeroyd on said:

    I totally agree with the majority of the comments. We are indeed our worst enemy. Making excuses for our young people instead of taking them to task for the crimes they commit and we turn a blind eye to. Essentially, we have brought the current situation on ourselves. Don’t blame “the man”. Instead, look in the mirror.

  5. George on said:

    Thank you Jesus for an article that gets right to the point. Black on black crime is one of our greatest enemies to date. Come on brothers and sisters we can do it, take a stand, contribute, talk to young folk in a positive, give back whenever you can 👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾

  6. I guess the police got finally got it. Leave negroes to their own devices and you won’t have worry about them. They’ll eventually kill each other off. The ironic and sad part about this is, the people who are now holed up in their houses, afraid to peek their heads out, are probably some of the same ones throwing bottles at the same cops, who they now are mad at for not coming back and shooting the gang banging thugs that have taken over their neighborhoods. Al! Jessie! Where the hell are you?!!

  7. reflections on said:

    Fear is the enemy of reason. Be afraid be very afraid. That is what the police unions want and the FOP. They use fear to justify brutality and murder. Now that they are beginning to hold the police accountable in Baltimore the remaining thugs have stop doing anything to say hey we told you so.
    You can do everything an officer request and still end up dead. There are union protected mentally ill police officers who enjoy murdering unarmed and mentally ill because they know they will never be held accountable. So that is the taxpayer functions of the fraternal order of police and the police unions. We can stop police shooting by abolishing and defunded the police unions and there contracts. The police thru there union have a bill of rights and can kill anyone for any reason called Qualified Immunity. The taxpayers pay the salaries and benefits for murders to continue to murder. How many more murder’s is it going to take before we abolish the police unions? Contract are eliminated every day.

  8. demp109 on said:

    I think we have to lean on the churches for more help with afterschool programs and mentoring. They are taking what’s left of the money in those communties and building bigger buildings, houses and cars. The church was the go to within the civil rights era, they must play a larger role in this era. You can find one on every block, let’s use them

  9. jhuf on said:

    How is this any surprise? Liberal mayors (NY Deblasio, B-more Rawlins-Blake) that jump at throwing their police force under the bus in order to pander to the mobs
    People get the governance they deserve citizens of B-more should remember this
    When the next mayoral election comes around

  10. Black Lives Matter, Brown Lives Matter, White Lives Matter
    Truth is hard concept but 51% of the crime is committed by 3% of the population ( AA males from 18- 35 )
    Poverty does not cause kids to go out and commit crimes. Absent Fathers and poor family structures is the disease that causing this breakdown in our society.

  11. African American woman on said:

    Finally!! Yes, we do need to face the facts about the atrocities we commot against one another, our communities, our women and children and we need to call out and stop protecting and making excuses about the criminal elements within our race. We can’t fix what we won’t acknowledge! We are in trouble, big time folks! Good article; only problem is the sugar coating by adding excuses.

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