Highs in the low 90s today, with rain moving in before sunset. It’ll be rainy tomorrow, with a high around 90.
Here’s your weekend catch-up:
As feared, Baltimore hit 45 homicides for July on Friday, tying a 43-year-old record for the deadliest month in the city (a record last set when nearly 300,000 more people lived inside Baltimore’s borders). Even The Baltimore Sun’s homicide chart was pushed to its limit.
If the number of homicides isn’t distressing enough, it’s worth remembering that mostly poor, mostly black neighborhoods are suffering most of the violence, while other areas have remained largely unbothered.
The violence didn’t take the weekend off. Two more people, both black men in their 20s, were shot and killed in separate incidences. In another shooting early Sunday, seven were shot and wounded along Garrison Avenue near Pimlico.
Amid the crisis of violence, Baltimore Police plan to make some tweaks that could have an impact. Interim police chief Kevin Davis announced a department “streamlining”, reassigning 28 top officials and undoing some of the changes made by former commissioner Anthony Batts. The re-org promotes some commanders that’d been handling duties on a temporary basis, with the hope that making it official will help them get their jobs done.
Ten federal agents will also start working alongside the BPD homicide unit, aiming to solve murders more quickly (2015’s clearance rate – how often homicides lead to criminal charges – is only 36%) The feds-on-loan will come from the FBI, DEA, ATF, and US Marshals.
State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby recently undercut one anti-violence initiative, unwilling to share case information with other agencies on the Baltimore Homicide Review Commission. The commission, based on a model that’s had some success in Milwaukee, tries to make sense of specific causes leading to violence (gang conflicts, drugs) by sharing intelligence between agencies. Mosby claims that sharing information about ongoing cases may endanger the safety of witnesses and victims.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake shared recommendations to boost the city’s three art districts (Highlandtown, Station North, and the Bromo Seltzer Tower areas), arguing that the districts are vital to the city’s economic development. The plans include more zoning flexibility for art and performance spaces, more straightforward tax incentives, and more marketing support from the city.
Kevin Plank’s Sagamore Development has the thumbs up from the National Aquarium to use some of their land to build a tech incubator at Port Covington. The incubator is one small part of Plank’s plan for South Baltimore, which includes a new Under Armour campus, retail, restaurants, and a distillery.