By A.F. James MacArthur Ph.A.L.
IT'S NOT LONELY AT THE TOP
No one wants to be number one, especially when it comes to being filled with crime and violence. Baltimore is frequently at the top of the list. With hundreds and hundreds of deaths and possible murders, that have been officially classified as "cause of death, undetermined," many in the city feel there may be something to hide.
Critics continue to rail against the Dixon administration on this matter. They claim possible coverups may be hidding in the numbers. The critcs believe a possible motivation would be to artificially keep the true level of crime hidden from the public.
A murder classified as an undetermined death stays off the crime stats. Even police on the beat are taking part. Reports of officers throughout the city engaing in underreporting, downgrading and in some cases just totally ignoring taking reports for crimes. To some, there seems to be a concerted, multi-player effort in disguising the true face of crime in Baltimore City.
I remember when I surprised two men who had broken into my car. After confronting them, they turned to me and I retreated for safety. The responding police officers had no interest in taking a crime report. It took several calls to district station, and finally a personal visit and pleading with a supervisor before the Baltimore Police would take the report.
Even with this type of dishonesty running rampant among those charged with protecting and serving, Baltimore still found itself number one at the top of the list of the most violent cities in America. Within a day or two of earning the distinction, we learned Charm City was bumped off by the Motor City. Apparently Detroit had been under reporting too, and once the true count was tabulated, they took first place among violent US cities..
Now here comes La La Land. The home of Hollywood magic, illusions and special effects. Los Angeles Police; in a move to keep the public informed and be a more transparent department has maintained a public database of crimes in the city. Strangely, the database doesn't include about 19,000 serious crimes that took place, according to the LA Times the missing mayhem includes;
* 26 homicides
* 137 rapes
* 10,766 personal, vehicle or other nonviolent thefts
Talking about destroying the public trust. If it's being hidden from the public in a database, where else is crime being covered up? We should give credit to LA though. At least they have a database and crime map available to the public. In Baltimore they're still debating it as the department continues to hide behind layers of secrecy.
So while crime rages on, residents find themselves unsure if they can trust the numbers. This week Baltimore saw several major crimes in the news, including several shootings, but the regular updates from the Baltimore Police Dept. Twitter made no mention. Twitter updates from the department were touted as an attempt of transparency. The department even went as far as saying the updates are real time. So what happened this week? Is the smoke screen being fired up once again?