Tag Archives: Maryland

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:



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.


Man who killed Maryland officer was ordered to surrender guns 3 times in 5 years

mujahid pgpd officer

Cpl. Mujahid Ramzziddin: Killed by a prohibited possessor.

And shocker, the killer never surrendered his firearms.

Do tell, #GunControlNow crowd, how do you propose to make criminals obey gun laws?

From Baltimore Sun: Court records say the man who fatally shot a Maryland police officer earlier this week had been court-ordered to surrender his guns at least three times in the last five years.

The Washington Post reports three different judges ordered Glenn Tyndell to “immediately surrender all firearms” after they found his wife, ex-wife and child needed protection. Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Col. Darrin C. Palmer says Tyndell had told deputies he’d turn himself in Tuesday. He didn’t show.

Prince George’s County police say 37-year-old Tyndell shot Cpl. Mujahid Ramzziddin five times with a shotgun Wednesday when the off-duty officer attempted to intervene in a dispute between Tyndell and his wife. Tyndell then fled before being fatally shot by officers Luke Allen and Channing Reed, who have been place on paid leave.

From The Washington Post:

The Prince George’s County sheriff’s office attempted for weeks to track down Tyndell but he consistently eluded law enforcement, at one point avoiding going to work knowing he could be apprehended at his job as a Metro mechanic, said Col. Darrin C. Palmer, chief assistant sheriff for Prince George’s County.

Deputies had visited his home and a second address for him three times, conducted surveillance and were working with Tyndell’s estranged wife in an attempt to serve a protective order and three arrest warrants related to the couple’s domestic disputes, Palmer said.”

Cpl. Ramzziddin was laid to rest on Friday, according to the Prince George’s County Police Department.

“Mujahid stood his ground to defend the life of the individual who had come to him for help,” Chief Henry Stawinski said. “He saved her life by giving his own. I’m extraordinarily proud of him.”


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.”


Manning files to run for Maryland Senate seat

bradley manning

Manning: A convicted traitor

Just what we need in DC, another traitor to the American people.

From Fox News: Chelsea Manning, a transgender former Army intelligence analyst convicted of leaking classified documents, has filed to run for the U.S. Senate.

The Washington Post first reported Saturday that Manning has filed to run in Maryland for the seat of Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin.

The Federal Election Commission website shows a Jan. 11 filing for “Chelsea Manning for U.S. Senate” with the party affiliation registered as Democrat — suggesting a primary challenge for Cardin.

Manning, then known as Bradley Manning, was arrested in 2010 and convicted in 2013 of leaking a trove of sensitive documents to WikiLeaks. Manning’s sentence was controversially commuted by President Barack Obama in 2017 after Manning had served seven years of a 35-year sentence.

Since leaving prison, Manning has become known for controversial tweets, often accompanied with a series of emojis and the hashtag #WeGotThis. Last week, Manning tweeted out the message “f—k the police” on Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, along with the hashtag #DisarmThePolice.

Manning has also referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement as “literally the new gestapo.”


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.