Baltimore city State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby is downplaying the link between the Freddie Gray case and a massive spike in violent crime, arguing that crime rates were already increasing before riots began in April following the 25-year-old’s death.
But Mosby’s math doesn’t add up, as The Baltimore Sun notes. Crime statistics show that homicide numbers this year were consistent with years past until unrest following Gray’s April 19 death.
Mosby has been blamed in part for planting the seeds of unrest. When she announced charges against the six Baltimore cops involved in Gray’s arrest and transport on May 1, she stated that she heard protesters’ calls of “no justice, no peace.”
In a panel discussion on WMAR’s “Square Off” that airs Sunday, Mosby said she disagrees with another panelist’s assertion that the crime spike is tied to post-riot unrest.
“I think the violence was already going up,” Mosby said. “When you look at January, it was already like 28 murders. How many snow days did we have in January?”
Mosby went on to assert that “violence is cyclical.” She also blamed policing policies she claims have not worked, including zero tolerance policies implemented during Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley’s tenure as mayor.
But as The Sun’s Justin Fenton points out, the number of murders that occurred in Baltimore through April were in line with previous years. It was not until after the riots that violent crime has exploded to levels not seen since the high-crime 1990s.
According to Fenton:
This year, Baltimore had recorded 65 homicides in 109 days as of April 25 — the first day of disturbances following Gray’s death. By that same date, the city had seen 54 homicides in 2014, 66 in 2013, 59 in 2012, and 65 in 2011, data show.
The number of killings has exploded since then, with 158 people killed in 130 days from April 25 through the end of August, including 45 homicides in July alone.
So far in 2015, there have been 227 homicides in Baltimore, putting the city on pace for more than 300 for the year. That’s a level that hasn’t been reached since 1999. That year, 305 were killed. In all of 2014, there were 211 killings. In 2013, there were 235.
Last month, a former prosecutor in Mosby’s office penned a scathing op-ed asserting that Mosby has failed to properly prosecute violent criminals.
“Having been a prosecutor in this city for 12 years, four in the Homicide Division, I can no longer stand idly by and watch State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby avoid taking responsibility for her role in the increase in violence,” wrote Roya Hanna. (RELATED: Former Baltimore State’s Attorney Blames Marilyn Mosby For Violent Crime Spike)
Hanna asserted that Mosby, who ran for office as a criminal justice reformer, had failed to hire prosecutors to fill vacant roles. Instead, the 35-year-old prosecutor hired public relations staffers. Hanna also pointed out that of the 200-plus killings that had occurred at the time of her op-ed, Mosby’s office had only filed charges against 28 assailants in 30 cases.