Tag Archives: Catherine Pugh

Gun-control, Baltimore style: Man shot and killed while driving in funeral procession

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh

Heckuva job mayor!

From Baltimore Sun: A man killed Saturday in West Baltimore’s Penrose neighborhood was driving in a funeral procession when he was shot in his car, Baltimore police confirmed Monday.

Dannta Holmes, 39, of the 1500 block of Shields Place, was found suffering from gunshot wounds in the 300 block of N. Monroe St. by officers who heard the gunfire while on patrol, said Detective Jeremy Silbert.

Holmes was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A preliminary investigation revealed suspects had approached the vehicle and opened fire before fleeing, Silbert said. He said he did not know for whom the procession was being held.

Another shooting, in which a 30-year-old man was wounded, occurred in Penrose on Wednesday. Baltimore police also identified on Monday two other men killed a day apart in the same neighborhood late last week.

Montrel Rivers, 20, of the 4000 block of Eierman Ave., was fatally shot in the upper body in a double shooting outside of a convenience store in the 1100 block of East North Ave. in East Baltimore Midway at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, police said.

Rivers was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The other victim in the shooting, an unidentified 22-year-old man, was shot in the leg and taken to a local hospital for treatment, police said.

At about 8:50 p.m. Friday, Ronald Preston, 30, of the 800 block of Montpelier St., was found suffering from gunshot wounds in the 600 block of Gutman Ave., also in East Baltimore Midway, police said. Preston was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

As of Monday, there had been 47 homicides in Baltimore in 2018. That is fewer than during the same period last year, but more than during the same period in each of the previous five years.

The 342 homicides in 2017 marked a per-capita record in Baltimore. It was the third year in a row the city had surpassed 300 killings — a mark not previously reached in the city since 1999.

Mayor Catherine E. Pugh — who fired former Police Commissioner Kevin Davis in January and appointed Darryl De Sousa in his place — said Monday in a State of the City address that the city is moving in the right direction, but still has more work to do to halt the violence.

She said the “collateral damage” from homicides is generational and leaves long-term wounds. “This need not be, and it must not continue, and it will not,” Pugh said.

See also:



Follow the money: Baltimore to spend $200,000 to help illegal aliens fight deportation


The city of Baltimore faces many challenges, mainly a very high crime rate. See our following blog posts:

So now, according to the Baltimore Sun, the city officials’ priority is to spend taxpayer money to help illegal aliens.

Last Wednesday, Mayor Catherine Pugh said the city will pay a team of lawyers to represent immigrants illegal aliens facing deportation. From the Baltimore Sun story:

The city’s spending panel on Wednesday approved spending $200,000 to pay for the attorneys, who the Democratic mayor said will get to work within weeks defending immigrants illegal aliens against federal deportation lawyers.

“We hope that everyone gets due process,” Pugh said.

Halfof the $200,000 is funded by a grant from the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York nonprofit. The other half will come from the city’s budget.

The combined pot of money is expected to help about 40 people obtain legal representation.

The Vera Institute also will provide the mayor’s office with technical assistance and support, including help identifying lawyers, providing research and data and sharing best practices.

The funding is part of a broader effort to help immigrants illegal aliens that city officials, charity leaders and advocates launched after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Under the Republican president, federal immigration authorities have increased deportations.

In September, federal immigration officials arrested 28 people in Maryland during a nationwide sweep targeting immigration violations in what Trump has labeled “sanctuary” jurisdictions. Five were arrested in Baltimore, one was arrested in Baltimore County, 11 in Prince George’s County and 11 in Montgomery County, federal officials said.

Immigrants Illegal aliens who face deportation charges are far more likely to lose their cases when they do not have a lawyer, advocates say. Cities and counties around the nation have been setting up funds to help pay for those lawyers because the Constitution’s guarantee of legal representation does not extend to people facing immigration charges.

After the city’s five-member spending board voted, Pugh compared having taxpayers fund such lawyers to taxpayer funding for public defenders who represent people who cannot afford attorneys in criminal cases.

“We’re not making a decision as to their status, we’re making the decision to be supportive of individuals who live in our city,” Pugh said.

Read the rest of the story here.

Take a guess, just one, as to who has ties to the Vera Institute of Justice. It will come AS NO SURPRISE to you…

The Vera Institute of Justice, as described by Wikipedia:

“Founded in 1961, the Vera Institute of Justice is an independent nonprofit national research and policy organization in the United States. Based primarily in New York City, Vera also has offices in Washington, D.C.. Vera describes its goal as “to tackle the most pressing injustices of our day: from the causes and consequences of mass incarceration, racial disparities, and the loss of public trust in law enforcement, to the unmet needs of the vulnerable, the marginalized, and those harmed by crime and violence.”

The founder of this nonprofit “research” organization Louis Schweitzer, was a Russian-born United States paper industrialist and philanthropist whose philanthropic activities included the donation of 1% of his annual income to the United Nations. More from Wikipedia:

In 1961, he founded the Vera Foundation, later renamed the Vera Institute of Justice, to reduce the numbers of poor people awaiting trial on New York City’s Rikers Island. Under Schweitzer’s leadership, Vera pioneered the use of controlled, experimental design research methods in state courts. When, in 1966, these experiments convinced the federal government to rewrite the laws governing bail in criminal cases, President Lyndon Johnson credited Schweitzer.

Schweitzer also proposed a “juvenile disarmament” resolution to the UN whereby toy guns and water pistols would be prohibited as an initial step towards effective disarmament and arms control. In response to criticism that this was a naive and quixotic proposal, Schweitzer stated, “The naive should inherit the earth because the realists have done such a lousy job.”

And here are the ties between George Soros and the Vera Institute of Justice(Those which I could find on my Yahoo and Google searches. I’m sure there are many more that were not made available during my search):

  • The former president of Open Society Foundations, Christopher Stone, spent a decade as director of the Vera Institute of Justice.
  • In 2010, the Vera Institute of Justice, with support from the Open Society Foundations and other funders, worked with New Orleans city government and community leaders to help reinvent the city’s criminal justice system.
  • In 2006, the Open Society Foundations awarded the Vera Institute of Justice $400,000 to “continue the work of The Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons.”
  • In 2010, the Open Society Foundations awarded the Vera Institute of Justice a $200,000 grant to “continue working with local government and community leaders in New Orleans, Louisiana, to continue its efforts to: develop and implement a pretrial release system; expand expedited screening; and transform the New Orleans Municipal Court.”
  • In 2005, the Open Society Foundations awarded the Vera Institute of Justice a $350,00 grant to “develop and implement a research and media strategy on prison conditions in the United States, anchored by a blue-ribbon commission.”
  • In 2011, the Open Society Foundations award the Vera Institute of Justice $500,000 to New York to “support the Center on Sentencing and Corrections and the Center on Youth and Justice.”

You knew Soros had his evil fingerprints ALL OVER this Baltimore project to ensure that “everyone” gets their “due process.”


Baltimore reporter interviews students who want “guns gone”

government solve all problems

Utopia for some. Unrealistic in the real world.

As you know Maryland has VERY strict gun control laws. Here’s a sample:

  • Magazine capacity restrictions: Illegal to purchase, sell or manufacture magazines with a capacity of greater than 10 rounds within Maryland. However, possession of magazines greater than 10 rounds is legal if purchased out of state. These may not, however, be transferred to a subsequent owner unless done so outside the state of Maryland.
  • Background checks required for private sales: All private transfers of regulated firearms (handguns or assault weapons) must be processed through a licensed dealer or designated law enforcement agency which must conduct a background check on the buyer.
  • “Weapons of War” ban:Maryland’s ban on 45 kinds of assault weapons and its 10-round limit on gun magazines were upheld by a federal appeals court in a decision that met with a strongly worded dissent. “For a law-abiding citizen who, for whatever reason, chooses to protect his home with a semi-automatic rifle instead of a semi-automatic handgun, Maryland’s law clearly imposes a significant burden on the exercise of the right to arm oneself at home, and it should at least be subject to strict scrutiny review before it is allowed to stand.”
  • Regulated firearms according to Maryland State Police: “Regulated firearm. — “Regulated firearm” means: (1) a handgun; or (2) a firearm that is any of the following specific assault weapons or their copies, regardless of which company produced and manufactured that assault weapon: See the full list here (which includes Bushmaster semi-auto rifle.)
  • Regulated Firearm Purchases (also from the Maryland State Police): “Any person who wishes to purchase, rent, or transfer a regulated firearm must complete a MSP 77R Application and Affidavit to purchase a regulated firearm. This includes individuals acquiring a regulated firearm through a firearm dealer, secondary sale/private sale, gift, or a person who wishes to voluntarily register a regulated firearm shall complete a Maryland State Police Application and Affidavit to Purchase a Regulated Firearm (MSP 77R).”

If you’d like to try and decipher the complete range of gun laws in Maryland you are welcome to do so here.  It is vast and the Maryland legislature web site is not search-friendly.

The gun control laws in Baltimore DON’T stop the criminals. We’ve done many blog posts about the gun violence that permeates Baltimore. See the following:

As for the last bulleted item, Baltimore Sun reporter Kevin Rector did a report on January 1, 2018 and interviewed kids from Excel Academy, a high school that provides second chances for troubled or vulnerable youth.  The students didn’t offer much in the way of solutions to the gun violence they face other than getting involved in political campaigns. As one student said, “she doesn’t know what 2018 will bring.”

Now, after the Parkland shooting, reporter Rector revisited the kids at Excel Academy on March 1 and this time they offered more concrete solutions. Here are some solutions the kids offered as “they want leaders to listen to what they have to say:”

  • Install metal detectors at all schools. (This is one idea that I support.)
  • Better background checks. (The NICS is only as good as the information reported and entered in the database and government agencies responsible for maintaining these records have a track record of failing to forward information to NICS.)
  • More laws and restrictions to keep guns out of the hands of those with violent tendencies or mental illness. (There are hundreds of gun laws in Maryland to prevent this from already happening.)
  • Police need to end the firearm black market. Problem is, as students said, they don’t understand why police seem oblivious to the city’s robust underground gun trade. As one student said, “…buying a gun on the black market in Baltimore is much too easy. It’s as easy was walking down the street. (If it is that easy to buy a gun on the black market, why aren’t local law enforcement officials doing anything to stop the proliferation of easy access to illegal guns?)
  • Firearm training for those who wish to purchase a gun. (Any law-abiding citizen and supporter of the Second Amendment will ensure they are trained. Are more government agencies going to be responsible for guaranteeing this item is fulfilled? The same government agencies that can’t properly update the NICS database are now going to ensure that you are “properly trained” to own a firearm?)
  • And their other solution? They want guns gone, including the AR-15 and handguns associated with most of the killings in Baltimore. (Just one little detail stopping that, kids: the Second Amendment.)

There’s a common theme among the students’ solutions to gun violence: more government action is needed.

The government and their laws designed to protect people didn’t stop the Parkland school shooter. The shooter could have faced charges before his massacre had law enforcement done their job. According to the Miami Herald, “the shooter threatened classmates, posted photos of himself holding guns, made violent statements online and was repeatedly described to authorities as a potential “school shooter.

His troubling behavior gave law enforcement plenty of opportunities to investigate and arrest him — and even take away his guns — long before he shot up Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, according to interviews with former South Florida prosecutors and legal experts (read the whole story here).”

Here’s my question: If government agencies can’t/won’t enforce current laws, what makes the kids believe that more bureaucracy will solve the problem? And what makes them think criminals will obey more gun control laws?

While I feel for the kids who are scared, looking to the government to solve Baltimore’s gun violence is not the solution. Proof of city officials’ dismal failure to protect their citizens is in their crime statistics.


Baltimore’s rising violence claims the lives of seven students from same school

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh

Heckuva job mayor!

Mayor Catherine Pugh…keeping the city “moving forward” and “taking control” of what happens in your neighborhoods.

From Fox News: A growing number of students at a Baltimore high school for troubled or vulnerable youth are missing out on a second chance to turn their life around, instead becoming statistics in a city paralyzed by violent crime.

At least seven students at Excel Academy at Francis Wood High School have been murdered the past 15 months — all victims of the city’s rising violence. At least five were killed during the 2016-17 school year. The sixth was killed in October and a seventh in November.

Among those was Stefon Cook, 20, who had been in school for only a month before he was gunned down in November. “We knew him and we knew him in a good light,” Principal Tammatha Woodhouse told the Baltimore Sun.

Another was 19-year-old Markel Scott, who was shot six times two months before his high school graduation last year. “I grew up here and I’ve never seen crime like this,” his mother Sharonda Rhodes told the New York Times. “These are not normal times. The guns are everywhere.”

The school is a grim reflection of the violence devastating the city, which saw 343 homicides in 2017 – making it three years in a row that the city saw more than 300 murders in a single year.

In its effort to help students cope with the ongoing violence, the school has four social workers, a psychologist and mental health counselors. Safe spaces have been set up so students have a place to vent.

“After the third time, it was like ‘What’s going on? Why are so many people from our school getting murdered? Is someone going after Excel?’ But I think most of them were at the wrong place at the wrong time,” student Deja Williams, 19, who knew all the seven young men killed, told the New York Times.

Woodhouse said there were many times during the last 15 months that she wondered if it was just too much to handle. “I remember having a conversation with my supervisor like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this anymore.’ And he was like, ‘Well, who’s going to do it if you can’t?’” she said.

She continued: “These are young folks who are independent, taking care of themselves and have to survive in an environment that’s not so welcoming to young folks. How as a city do we look at them and ensure that they have economic resources and make sure that they have some stake in the game as it relates to Baltimore?”

City officials say they are trying to figure out ways to make the city safer.

The city is adding a network of more than 750 high-definition cameras that have the ability to zoom in and follow people as they walk down the streets, the Times reported. The city’s leadership also ordered every agency to undertake initiatives to reduce crime, like installing street lighting and clearing vacant lots.

The recent rise in homicides appeared to be triggered by the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray, an African American man who died while in police custody.

“It’s like sitting on a keg of dynamite,” Mayor Catherine Pugh told the Baltimore Sun. “If we don’t fix it, it will all explode.”

While it’s unclear whether the strategies will work, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis told the Sun that the Violence Reduction Initiative is “fundamentally improving how the government is delivered to poor, violent communities in a way it’s never been delivered before.” He said they are already seeing a slight decrease in crime. “So you have to stick with that,” he said, “and you have to find ways to expand it.”


Baltimore residents blame record-high murder rate on lower police presence

baltimore sign f the police

From NPR: For the third year in a row, Baltimore, Md., has had more than 300 murders, reaching a new record of murders per number of residents in 2017 (and a record killing per capita).

Some residents attribute the high murder rate to relaxed police patrols in the city following high-profile cases of police brutality. Officers have backed off in neighborhoods, like the one where Freddie Gray was arrested.

The Rev. Kinji Scott, a pastor in Baltimore who’s held positions in local city government, says the opposite needs to happen. “We wanted the police there,” Scott says. “We wanted them engaged in the community. We didn’t want them beating the hell out of us, we didn’t want that.

He’s among activists who are calling for police reform to reduce the violence in Baltimore and several other high-crime cities across the U.S. that he says haven’t seen change. That change begins with a conversation between the communities directly involved, Scott says.

“We need the front line police officers and we need the heart of the black community to step to the forefront of this discussion,” he says. “And that’s when we’re going to see a decrease in crime.”

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Interview Highlights

On the current state of community safety in Baltimore

When you think about young people who are out here facing these economic challenges and are homeless and living places that are uncertain, and you’re a parent — you’re scared. Not just for yourself really, but for your children.

The average age of a homicidal victim in Baltimore City right now is 31 years old. We had a young man who attended one of the prime high schools, [Baltimore Polytechnic Institute], Jonathan Tobash, and he was 19 years old, he was a Morgan State student. And he was killed on his way to the store. That’s the state of Baltimore right now.

On whether the community wanted police to back off after the death of Freddie Gray

No. That represented our progressives, our activists, our liberal journalists, our politicians, but it did not represent the overall community. Because we know for a fact that around the time Freddie Gray was killed, we start to see homicides increase. We had five homicides in that neighborhood while we were protesting.

What I wanted to see happen was that people would be able to trust the relationship with our police department so that they would feel more comfortable. We’d have conversations with the police about crime in their neighborhood because they would feel safer. So we wanted the police there. We wanted them engaged in the community. We didn’t want them beating the hell out of us, we didn’t want that.

Read the rest here.


Baltimore sets record for killings per capita

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh

Heckuva job mayor!

I’m sure the new Citiwatch cameras, funded by Bloomberg, will put an end to all this killing. /sarc

From The Baltimore Sun: With two fatal shootings Tuesday night, the recent reclassification of a decades-old shooting as a killing and another homicide Wednesday evening, Baltimore has hit 343 homicides in 2017, and a new record for killings per capita.

The homicide rate for 2017 is now 55.8 killings per 100,000 people. The previous record was 55.35 per 100,000 in 2015. The city suffered 344 homicides that year, but had thousands more residents.

The most homicides to occur in a year was 353 in 1993, but the city had some 100,000 more residents then.

Officers called to the 3700 block of Arcadia Ave. in the Langston Hughes neighborhood of Northwest Baltimore at about 4:40 p.m. Tuesday found 18-year-old Quincy Hammonds with gunshot wounds to his body, police said. Hammonds, of the 1900 block of Middleview Court, was taken to a local hospital, where he died, police said.

Officers responding to a report of a shooting near the intersection of 38th Street and Old York Road in the Waverly neighborhood of North Baltimore at about 10:04 p.m. found an unresponsive male victim with gunshot wounds in a crashed vehicle in the 3700 block of Ellerslie Ave., police said. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Police on Wednesday also announced the death of William Wallace, 38. Wallace was shot in the head on June 15, 1995, in the 800 block of Durham St. in East Baltimore. He suffered a seizure in Heritage Crossing on Sept. 4 and was found unresponsive. The medical examiner has ruled Wallace’s death a homicide as a result of the injuries he suffered in the 1995 shooting, police said.

Later Wednesday, officers responded to the 200 block of N. Hilton Street and found a man suffering from a gunshot wound to his back. He was taken to a hospital, where he died of his injuries. Police believe the man was in the 200 block of Monastery Avenue when he was shot. Homicide detectives are investigating.

Kara, 33, and Sheree, 27, who did not want to give their last names out of concern about violence in the area, said they were waiting to turn off of North Hilton Street when a vehicle came up behind, hitting an oncoming vehicle and then their own.

A man jumped out of the car and said, “I’m shot! I’m shot!” then jumped into the backseat of their car, where young children were sitting, they said.

“I just don’t want to be out here,” Kara said. “You’re in the car minding your own business, and look what happens.”

Sheree said there’s a group of young men who hang out on the corner where police say the shooting broke out. “You’ve got the young generation growing up, trying to be in gangs. It ain’t safe out here,” Sheree said.

Also Wednesday, police identified a man killed in the 900 block of Poplar Grove on Dec. 14 as Ali Ouedraogo.

Police asked anyone with information about the fatal shootings to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100, text a tip to 443-902-4824, or call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCK-UP.


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.”