The latest victims of Baltimore’s murder wave were an 8 year old boy and 31 year old woman. They were found shot to death in a car. Anarchy is ruling the streets of the city since the riots.
Police Commissioner Anthony Batts told the press that his officers “are not holding back” from policing the tough Western District neighborhoods of the city, but they are encountering dangerous hostility from neighborhood crowds. When the police respond to a call for help, they have 30 to 50 hostile people surrounding them when they arrive at their destination. The crowds are considered dangerous and the police are not sure what to do. The government of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake wants them to engage in community relations but the police say you cannot do that with a hostile crowd at a possible crime scene.
Because of the recent indictments of six police officers by the city, the police are questioning procedures. Their biggest fear is that if they make a stop because they spot some suspicious activity that could lead to probable cause and it is a mistake, they could have charges brought against them by the city. Since the cops are in a legal limbo, they play it safe and do little or nothing at all.
The Western District rioters complained and vilified the police for their aggressive tactics. So there was a withdrawal of police units to calm the situation. The rioters achieve a goal without realizing the consequences. The over-policing of the district kept the lid on the violence. Now that they are gone gangs rule the streets and chaos has become the norm.
The residents of the Western District want the police not to arrest the petty criminals but to concentrate only on the major crimes. Little do they realize that criminals who commit petty crimes and succeed generally move on to more serious crimes precisely because they got away with the minor stuff.
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration made New York City a safer city by cracking down on minor and major crimes. It was known as the “broken glass” theory. The idea was to arrest and punish anybody who broke the law even if they just broke somebody’s window. Crime in New York plummeted in the city as a result. But politicians forgot what New York City achieved and pandered to the vocal critics of the “broken glass” theory. Their cities now suffer greater wounds inflicted by the criminal elements as crime runs rampant. Unfortunately, law abiding citizens are the victims of this wrong way thinking.