Baltimore’s woke mayor’s calls to defund the police have come back to haunt him after the city’s notoriously high murder rate climbed again in 2021.  

Charm City saw 337 homicides last year, up from 334 in 2020, and well above the 290 that the city’s Mayor Brandon Scott had hoped his new ‘violence reduction’ strategies would bring the homicide rate down to in 2021.  

‘We can’t accept that this life loss is normal,’ Scott, who last year led efforts to cut police funding by $22 million as a city councilman before pleading over the spring for $27 million more for the police department, told the Baltimore Sun Times.   

Meanwhile, non-fatal shootings increased from 721 in 2020, to 726 in 2021.

Scott had laid out a plan to reduce murders by 15 percent every year. But instead of lowering murders to less than 290 deaths, the city reported 337 killings involving shooting incidents. 

Among the victims were a 69-year-old woman who was killed in church by a man ‘fresh off parole,’ and a female police officer who was ambushed by her two assailants while she patrolled, and who died after being shot in the head.   

The violent streak of shootings has kept increasing steadily since 2015. Democrat-led cities with mayors who have pushed to defund police – and later asked to ‘refund’ police departments – like Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington, D.C, now account for America’s most violent cities.   

The Charm City saw a slight increase in murders from 334 in 2020

The Charm City saw a slight increase in murders from 334 in 2020

Meanwhile, Baltimore’s police department has pointed out that murder clearance has gone up from 32 percent in 2019, to 39 percent in 2020, and 42 percent in 2021. 

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, said it would take monumental efforts to root out the culture of violence in the city.  

‘It’s not just what the Police Department can do, it’s how we change the way people think,’ Harrison said. ‘We have to change culture, and that’s a hard thing to do. That takes longer.’ 

Only 90 minutes into the New Year, Baltimore saw its first two homicides of the year.

Nonfatal shootings increased from 721 in 2020, to 726 in 2021 - roughly a 1percent increase

Nonfatal shootings increased from 721 in 2020, to 726 in 2021 – roughly a 1percent increase

Meanwhile, Baltimore's police department has pointed out that murder clearance has gone up from 32percent in 2019, to 39percent in 2020, and 42percent in 2021

Meanwhile, Baltimore’s police department has pointed out that murder clearance has gone up from 32percent in 2019, to 39percent in 2020, and 42percent in 2021

'We can't accept that this life loss is normal,' Mayor Brandon Scott, who last year led efforts to cut police funding by $22 million as a city councilman before pleading over the spring for $27 million more for the police department, said

‘We can’t accept that this life loss is normal,’ Mayor Brandon Scott, who last year led efforts to cut police funding by $22 million as a city councilman before pleading over the spring for $27 million more for the police department, said

Mayor Brandon Scott, who last year led efforts to cut police funding by $22 million as a city councilman, pleaded last year for $27 million more for the police department. 

Then in October, Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland would invest an additional $150 million in law enforcement as part of his ‘refund the police’ initiative.

He said that public officials need to steer more funding to law enforcement to maintain public safety, CBS Baltimore reported.

‘Thinking you can improve law enforcement by defunding the police is like saying that you want to improve education by defunding the schools,’ Hogan said. ‘It’s absurd and ridiculous.’    

The mayor’s anti-violence program, which tripled the city’s violence intervention programs, and increased efforts to seize trafficked guns, did not slow down the yearly increase in murders as expected. 

Police Commissioner Harris highlighted the need to change the culture, in order to combat the rise in murders, which are overwhelmingly violent in nature. 

November kicked off to a grisly start for Baltimore when 69-year-old grandmother Evelyn Player was brutally stabbed at her east Baltimore church. 

Player was found stabbed in a bathroom of the Southern Baptist Church, an hour after she had let contractors and her suspected killer into the building for church renovations. 

Manzie Smith Jr., 62, was arrested in December and charged with first-degree murder after he was identified with DNA evidence collected at the scene. 

Smith, who reportedly has mental health issues and is said not to remember the day of the killing, had been contracted as a laborer.  

Officer Keona Holley was shot in the head while she sat inside her police car. Holley, who was working an overtime shift in Bay City, was ambushed by two assailants without an apparent motive, police said.

Officer Keona Holley was shot in the head while she sat inside her police car. Holley, who was working an overtime shift in Bay City, was ambushed by two assailants without an apparent motive, police said.

The 39-year-old mother-of-four had been in the force for just two yers. She was taken off life support shortly after she was shot in December

The 39-year-old mother-of-four had been in the force for just two yers. She was taken off life support shortly after she was shot in December

‘The murder of a 69-year-old grandmother inside a church in East Baltimore has shaken city residents and community leaders to the core,’ Governor Hogan said in a statement in December. ‘This heartbreaking violence is tearing the city apart. Enough is enough. We need immediate action.’

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby went on to say that Smith was ‘fresh off parole and not given adequate state supervision’ at the time of the killing. 

Player’s alleged killer was arrested just days before another violent murder shook the city. 

On December 16, Baltimore police officer Keona Holley was shot in the head while she sat inside her police car.  

Holley, who was working an overtime shift in Bay City, was ambushed by two assailants without an apparent motive, police said. 

The suspects were later arrested.  

The 39-year-old mother-of-four had been in the force for just two yers. She was taken off life support shortly after she was shot. 

‘Her health has been deteriorating over the last couple of days and her family, in consultation with her doctors, has had to make the most difficult decision,’ said Commissioner Harrison. 

‘Our prayers are with Officer Holley’s family and loved ones, co-workers and the entire community. I thank her and the entire BPD community for their commitment, service and sacrifice. We mourn Officer Holley’s death together and we will heal together,’ he added.   

Harrison seemed to be more hopeful of the department’s goals for 2022, pointing out at the increase in murder clearance. 

‘When you put it all together, we have made improvements,’ he said. 

‘We’re just getting started,’ Harrison said. ‘It is frustrating, but we’re changing the culture of a city.’     

Meanwhile, mayor Scott did not backpedal from his initial plan to reduce violent crimes, assuring residents that they will see results in 2022. 

‘We all know that this is always going to be a long road. But I believe in my heart that we can transform what’s going on in the city by keeping to this approach,’ told the Sun. 

But only 90 minutes into the New Year, Baltimore saw its first two homicides of the year. 

In Southwest Baltimore, two men were killed and a 16-year-old was injured in a shooting around 1.30am on Saturday. 

Roughly 15 minutes later, an 18-year-old was injured in a separate shooting while he walked in the Fells Point area.  

Southwest Baltimore neighborhoods Councilman John Bullock told the Sun it would take more than a plan to combat the violent reality of the city. 

‘It’s one thing to have a great and well-crafted plan,’ Bullock said. ‘At the same time, you’re dealing with the reality that violence and crime is still at a high level.’ 

Only 90 minutes into the New Year, Baltimore saw its first two homicides of the year. (File photo)

Only 90 minutes into the New Year, Baltimore saw its first two homicides of the year. 

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