Baltimore is on the verge of implosion. The city is an opioid hell-hole that has the most extensive wealth inequality in the country. Its millennial base is fleeing the city, headed to the suburbs to escape the out of control murders.
Baltimore struggles to curb violent crime as the city's total homicides are expected to breach 300 in the coming days.
As of Tuesday, there have been 297 murders this year, said The Baltimore Sun.
The city had fewer than 300 homicides per year from 2000 to 2014.
However, the number of murders climbed in 2015 to 342, amid the 2015 Baltimore Riots, which civil unrest destroyed 285 to 350 businesses, 150 vehicle fires, 60 structure fires, and 27 drugstores looted.
The out of control homicides points to the need for more tools in the approach to curbing violent crime.
Mayor Catherine Pugh strengthened the city's safe streets program, in which reformed criminals act as intermediaries in disputes to prevent widespread violence.
“What we’re experiencing on the streets of our city is about territorializing different parts of the city: if I’m going to sell drugs over here then you can’t come over here. If you come over here I’m going to shoot you here and then the next thing you know my sister my daughter my father my mother,” said Mayor Pugh. “Somebody gets caught up in the crossfire.”
The mayor has repeatedly said in 2018 that crime is down. Meanwhile, the total number of murders are about to breach 300 - near record levels (342 homicides in 2017).
“We’ve got to teach folks that life is valuable. These folks don’t get up off the ground and get to live another day or to have another conversation with their daughter their father their mother their sister their cousin – they don’t get to do that,” Pugh said.
Recent crime statistics published by the FBI placed Baltimore's homicide rate last year well above trend of any other large American city, making it an anomaly in the national crime landscape for US cities with populations over 500,000 people.
The 342 homicides last year resulted in the highest homicide rate in the country (56 per 100,000 people), according to the FBI.
As the next economic downturn is immient, police chiefs not just in Baltimore, but the rest of the country are worrying that the next recession could fuel a crime wave that could be overwhelming.