Tag Archives: Baltimore’s gun violence

Bloomberg foundation gives $5M to Baltimore to "fight crime"

jack young baltimore

Baltimore council president Jack Young


As of December 3, Baltimore had 322 homicides, with 280 of those caused by a shooting. This occurs despite having very strict gun laws.
And the shootings occur despite having over 600 cameras to “make a person think twice before they do something.” Apparently installing 60 more cameras throughout the city will somehow “bring out a lot of crime.”
I wonder why Bloomberg is throwing so much money at a cause that will have minimal results.
From MyFoxBaltimore: Mayor Catherine Pugh announced Sunday $5 million in funds to help fight crime. “I’m very grateful for Bloomberg Philanthropies for reading the Violence Reduction Plan, for understanding what we need in order to make this city safe,” Mayor Pugh said.
Bloomberg Philanthropies, a charity of former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, awarded Baltimore the grant, which will fund 60 new CCTV “Citiwatch” cameras, 25 mobile licence plate readers and expand gunshot detection coverage by 10 square miles.
“It will make a person think twice before they do something. You see, people don’t think twice because there aren’t any cameras around,” William Goode of West Baltimore said. “It will help it a lot. It will bring out a lot of crime.
The city already has more than 600 Citiwatch cameras, according to Open Baltimore. BPD and the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice will decide where those cameras will go.
“Five million dollars on cameras?” a man named “Tony” asked Fox45 Sunday. “You can put $5 million on so many things in this city that would help this city for real, and you’re gonna use cameras?”
In a press release, the grant was met with optimism from City Council President Jack Young.
“One of the most common requests I receive from my constituents is for more vigilance and more cameras in our neighborhoods,” said Council President Jack Young (a 21-year veteran of the council). “I’m extremely pleased to see the City directing resources to tools that have demonstrated success in keeping communities safe.”
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Baltimore lawmaker's grandson killed in Labor Day weekend violence

talmadge branch

Lawmaker Talmadge Branch loses his grandson


Baltimore has a serious murder problem.
The residents of Baltimore recently begged for a “Don’t kill anybody weekend” which resulted in three people being shot, two of them fatally. Seven people were killed over Labor Day weekend. There have now been 242 homicides in the city in 2017, a near historic pace.
Lawmaker Talmadge Branch has been in office since 1995, representing the 45th legislative district. In 2013, he supported major gun control measures that included banning assault weapons, requiring people who buy handguns to provide their fingerprints and limiting gun magazines to 10 bullets. At the time he was quoted as saying the following (via Fox News):
“Delegate Talmadge Branch, D-Baltimore, told lawmakers how Baltimore legislators regularly attend funerals of people who are gunned down. He described a calendar that sometimes included two funerals a week or two a month. 
“We don’t have a need for an assault rifle in the city of Baltimore,” Branch said. “We don’t have that kind of need, and we don’t need guns on the street that are unlicensed, and we don’t need guns on the street that are actually killing people.” 
With all due respect sir, the guns aren’t actually killing people. It’s the people holding the guns who are killing people.
Now the gun violence has hit home especially close for this lawmaker. Sadly, murders will continue until lawmakers address the root cause of people killing people in that city.
From CBS Baltimore: A man killed in a shooting Monday is reportedly the grandson of Maryland House Majority Whip Talmadge Branch, according to our media partner The Baltimore Sun.
Branch said his grandson Tyrone is Baltimore’s latest murder victim, and the veteran lawmaker pleaded for the city’s gun violence to stop.
Three hours after the young man’s death, The Sun says Branch said that the city’s violence “touched my family now.”
Tyrone is reportedly the oldest child of Branch’s daughter.
Baltimore Police say the shooting happened around 12:30 p.m. at the 4200 block of Nicholas Ave.  Responding officers found the 22-year-old man with multiple gunshot wounds.
The victim was taken to a hospital, where he died a short time after arriving.
Police say the victim was reportedly was talking with two unknown suspects, when they opened fire on him, and left in a white vehicle after the shooting.
Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at (410) 396-2100, Metro crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP, or text a tip to (443)902-4824.
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"Don't kill anybody": Murder-free weekend urged in Baltimore

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh
It’s come to this: Wearing t-shirts begging folks not to kill. Mayor Catherine Pugh and former mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake must be so proud.
From MSN: A 44-year-old mother might seem an unusual visitor on the drug corners of Baltimore, but Erricka Bridgeford has stopped by them for weeks to make her pitch for peace.
Forget your grudges for one weekend, she urges the young men she finds. Help bring a 72-hour truce to a city besieged by gun violence. “It’s a city-wide call,” she tells them, “but I’m talking to you.”
Bridgeford and other neighborhood leaders are drumming up support for the three-day ceasefire to quell Baltimore’s violence on the first weekend of August. She admits, however, that such peace is a tall order for a city that’s seen 188 killings this year.
Organizers aim to stop the shooting from Friday, Aug. 4 through Sunday, Aug. 6 with a unified and blunt message: “Nobody kill anybody.”
Their message has been printed on T-shirts and fliers. They designed a website and held community meetings. More than 1,600 people visited their Facebook page. The grassroots campaign has swelled since it began in May.
“I’ve seen the momentum build over the past several weeks,” said T.J. Smith, spokesman for Baltimore police. “We are all in this together and we’re 1,000 percent supportive of the efforts.”
The campaign urges people to put aside their guns and join weekend events for healing, from a peace rally Friday evening to a vigil Sunday where participants will read the names of every person killed in 2017.
“The Baltimore Ceasefire was not declared by any one organization,” organizers wrote on their website. “This ceasefire is the product of Baltimore residents not only being exhausted by homicides, but believing that Baltimore can have a murder-free weekend if everyone takes responsibility.”
More than 600 people have pledged to keep the peace, they wrote. Among them are some of the young men Bridgeford has met on the corners. “You just talk to them like they’re your little brother,” she said.
A professional mediator, neighborhood volunteer and part-time Uber driver — “Everyone who gets in my car leaves with a flyer and a speech” — Bridgeford’s own younger brother was gunned down a decade ago in Southwest Baltimore. His killer was never caught.
Next month’s ceasefire would prove successful if it deters a single shooting, she said. And she figured the movement has already saved a life somewhere. “Somebody was plotting on this weekend,” she said. “Now they’re not going to do it because of a rumbling in their soul.”
The organizers are raising money through their website for more fliers. Some of the money will be donated to the families of anyone killed over the ceasefire weekend. Bridgeford is urging everyone she meets to echo the call for peace. “Jumping out in open-air drug markets might not be for everyone,” she said. “But we’re asking everyone to do their part.”
Community ceasefires, however, have failed to stem the violence in the past. The group Mothers of Murdered Sons called for a ceasefire over Mother’s Day weekend, but at least four people were shot, including a 59-year-old man and 17-year-old woman; both were killed.
Other communities have called for ceasefires after spates of violence in Birmingham, Ala. and Berkeley, Calif., and such efforts are as much about empowering residents as reducing homicide statistics, said Cassandra Crifasi, deputy director of the Johns Hopkins-Baltimore Collaborative for Violence Reduction.
Persistent violence often leaves neighbors feeling powerless, she said. “Communities feel like they can’t do things for themselves. They don’t have a voice. They don’t feel heard,” she said. “This effort seems to me like the people most affected by violence are standing up and saying, ‘We’re not going to take this anymore.'”
A similar awareness campaign began in Chicago in 2013 and has spread across the country with people wearing orange in June to draw attention to the scourge of gun violence. Across the country more than 90 people are shot and killed every day, according to the Wear Orange campaign.
Baltimore, meanwhile, remains gripped by its own violent spike, with 2017 on pace to be the city’s deadliest year ever. The number of homicides shot up to 344 in 2015; another 318 people were killed last year. Baltimore had not exceeded 300 annual homicides for decades before 2015.
“I’m cautiously optimistic,” Crifasi said of the ceasefire. “It indicates to me there are lots of people in Baltimore still invested in the safety and security of their communities.”
People like Bridgeford who has carried the message to Baltimore’s drug corners. She found an unexpected audience, even encouragement in the streets. “I’ve absolutely heard skepticism,” she said. “But even the skeptics are like, ‘Stay out here.'”
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