14 January 2015
By A.F. James MacArthur
With the death of one of the victims of a double shooting Monday night, Baltimore is racking up murders in 2015 at a rate that should cause alarm. Especially to those whose job it is to run this city. Even for Mobtown, Bodymore Murderland, this is a bit much.
At this point, other than the usual response from the usual so called leaders, it appears there's nothing new or innovative in the works and we can expect more of the same for the time being. We recently learned the homicide clearance rate for 2014 was around 45%. That's less than half. A failure no matter how you look at it.
|Actual homicide scene. Not a movie. Not an actor. Real life.|
Painting A Painful Picture
The decision to post a picture of a murder scene was not one tmade lightly. It certainly wasn't done just to gratuitously depict graphic horror either. After going to so many crime scenes over the years, I thought it would be helpful to show people some of what I see, if there is to be any true understanding of what's really going on. Scenes like this are seen by children in the city. Sadly this happens all too regularly. Sometimes while doing something as innocent as walking to or from school.
There are things taking place on a street near you, that will never be shown to you on the news.
Some TV news stations actually deliberately avoid reporting on much of the major crime happening here. If they are your sole source of news, you most certainly have a skewed view of reality in Baltimore. Quite frankly, you're probably a bit clueless. Chances are if you're reading this article, that description doesn't fit you.
Story Telling, Problem And Solutions
|Police Commissioner Batts has a new plan. Again!|
Raw statistics have a sort of sterilizing effect. They do not tell the story of the realities taking place. Numbers are readily categorized and compartmentalized while the bigger picture is totally lost sight of.
To be clear, I do not have, nor do I pretend to be one bearing solutions. That isn't my job, it's not why I'm here.
My purpose and the purpose of this site is to tell stories of crime and politics in this city. To offer a sort of raw realism that you'll seldom find elsewhere. It's painting a clear and vivid picture of some of what's really going on.
In my view, to downplay or minimize the extent of horrific carnage taking place in our city, would be
a dishonor to the victims and their families. A sort of writing them off, almost as if there lives never existed and never really mattered.
It's very easy to collectively ignore the violence and simply see it as something that only happens to "other" [mostly poor and black] people. Sadly, it is impossible to have a sustained peaceful and prosperous existence when this level of crime is happening all around you. Sooner or later it will come to you. When you least expect it. Not if, but when. If not you, then someone you know. Someone close to you. Sometimes in ways you'd never imagine.
Baltimore has huge issues in crime categories other than murder too. Don't let our focus homicide cause you to lose sight of all the other areas we need to do so much better in,
Rape and various forms of sexual assault rarely make the news. But it's taking place literally hundreds of times each year, causing permanent physical and psychological damage to victims, extending far beyond themselves. Affecting their family, friends and coworkers too.
Serious assaults and beat downs, causing permanent life altering damage is something that's also rarely reported on. But they're happening at an absolutely devastating rate as well. Even if you survive an attack, it's difficult to be productive or raise and provide for a family, if permanent disability -- as a result of violence -- prevents this. No one really mentions this much either. But it's very, very common here.
Let's not even going into the thousands of robberies. Some reported to police and appearing on statistical charts, while many remain unreported by victims living in fear. Thereby allowing the numbers to paint a more optimistic picture than is reality, and police getting to pretend things are a way they know isn't so.
For reasons of space, we will avoid talking about the many crimes by cops happening in Baltimore. Were we to ever get a true and accurate figure of just what's really going on, we'd probably discover we're near leading the nation in that category as well.
The Baltimore Police Department is one that is deeply corrupt with criminal misconduct. The criminality knows no bounds, involving top commanders, right on down to rank and file officers on the streets.
Having covered more crime and emergency incidents than any other independent corespondent in Baltimore, I've become pretty good at outlining in great detail what our problems are. It's going to take others to work on coming up with solutions.
Pretending the problem isn't a problem, or that it's less of a problem just isn't helping anything. Neither is not talking about it because it's grotesque or depressing.
If you live or work in Baltimore, what's happening here is your business. The problems here are your problems. It's all our problems.
At this point it should be quite evident the solutions needed will not be coming from government. I've stated this years ago on this very same site, and it's still true today.
Over the past ten years, though the number of homicides have fluctuated somewhat from year to year, overall there's been little appreciable progress. This town still has a shameful, inexcusable level of death and destruction of lives. And where there's lives being destroyed, eventually other things are too. The economy, vibrancy and livability of any city is all inextricably tied in to it's crime rate, particularly violent crime.
I'm very curious to see where we go from here.
What are your ideas? What would you do, or think should be done to address the city's violent crime problem? Feel free to use the comment section or hit up The Baltimore Spectator Facebook page.
Researcher, independent investigative journalist, and entrepreneur, A.F. James MacArthur has been a member of the underground news network for over 20 years. During this time, he's been a frequent subject of attack by government officials under the guise of law enforcement. Although closely watched and followed, he's often boycotted from being given any credit for his work by mainstream media.
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