Killing Fields: Baltimore Ties Record For City’s Deadliest Month Despite 275,000 Fewer Residents

Derek Hunter Contributor
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In August of 1972, the city of Baltimore endured 45 murders, a record that stood alone — until now.

Since the April riots over the death of Freddie Gray, Baltimore has seen a dramatic spike in murders. May saw 42, which tied it as the 3rd deadliest month on record at the time. But now it’s tied for 4th.

July 2015 tied August of ’72 with its 45th murder on the last day of the month. But there’s one significant difference between 1972 and 2015 that makes the number of murders even more disturbing: the city has 275,000 few residents.

In 1972, Baltimore was knocking on the door of 900,000 residents. In 2015, that number has dropped to roughly 622,000.

Chicago, Illinois, a city with a population of 2.7 million, has been plagued by gang violence and murder in recent years. But even with 2.1 million fewer residents, Chicago only had 2 more murders (47) in the month of July than Baltimore.

In the month of July, Chicago had one murder for every 57,446 residents. Baltimore had one per 13,822.

For the month of July, Chicago had a rate of 1.74 murders per 100,000 residents. Baltimore’s murder rate was 7.23 per 100,000, more than 4 times higher than Chicago. In 1972, Baltimore’s murder rate was 5 per 100,000.

On July 8, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake fired Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and replaced him, on an interim basis, with Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis.