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City’s murders, non-fatal shootings on the rise


By Paul Gessler

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    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Murders and non-fatal shootings continue to outpace 2020’s numbers.

According to police statistics, the current 160 homicides so far represent a 6 percent increase from this time last year. Non-fatal shootings have increased by 18 percent year-to-date.

“It’s just gotten so bad. You got to be scared to walk up and down the street, especially in the evening. Now, it’s broad daylight, too,” a Southwest Baltimore resident who did not want to be identified said Monday. “[Police] make their presence well-known, so it’s not like they are not here. I see police officers on every corner just about every night.

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison recently touted the department’s 51 percent homicide clearance rate, an improvement over recent years, where it was as low as 32 percent in 2019.

City police arrested Kevin Dudley Thursday in the murder of 18-year-old Kozee Spriggs who had first been reported missing on June 8. Spriggs’ body was found in a house on Ensor Street on June 15. According to charging documents, Dudley and Springs had an altercation over drugs and money and Dudley admitted to police to being present at the time Springs was shot and killed.

Governor Hogan said his meeting last month with Mayor Scott and Commissioner Harrison was “productive,” but blamed the lack of consequences for the continued violent crime.

“When crime’s being committed right in front of police officers, when the state’s attorney refuses to prosecute half the crimes, we’re not going to fix the problem, regardless of how many meetings we’re going to have,” Hogan said.

The next Baltimore Cease Fire weekend, where grassroots groups plan life-affirming activities, is planned for Aug. 6 through 8.

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