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Baltimore Government Proves Agile When It Comes To Confederates, Less So With Policing

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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The Baltimore city government cleanly and quickly executed the removal of four Confederate statues from the city after residents put up a fight, demonstrating an agility and proficiency definitely lacking in its handling of the city’s homicide problem.

Just a day after the council voted Monday to remove the Confederate monuments, city workers and officers quietly and cheerfully removed the statues late Tuesday night. Some gathered in the early morning to watch cranes and flatbed trucks taking down the statues from their pedestals. The Baltimore City Paper editor described the mood as “celebratory.”

That deftness is lacking in the city’s response to the city’s still skyrocketing homicide count. Baltimore is set to mark the highest homicide count the city has ever seen in 2017 — so far 211 people are dead, 88 percent as a result of a gun shot.

The mayor of Baltimore, Catherine Pugh, has been trying to find ways to tamp down on the violence since the year started. She called on the Federal Bureau of Investigation in February to help them get guns off the street after the city reached 101 homicides.

“The summers in Baltimore tend to be very violent,” spokesperson Andrew McCarthy said at the time. “And the mayor wants to get a handle on all the murders, the flood of guns on the streets and the gang activity.”

Activists have also tried ways to fix the growing problem. They hosted a “Nobody Kill Anybody” during the weekend of Aug 4, an event urging Baltimore residents to not shoot at each other. The “ceasefire” was not successful, as at least two people were shot during that time.

Despite these efforts, the homicide problem remains. Pugh released an updated “Call to Action” plan in August that proposed attacking the crime by trying to interact with the youth and trying to make college free college youth to keep them off the streets.

“I didn’t come into City Hall without a vision,” she said. “I don’t want people to think we came into City Hall without a plan, because we did.”

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