Yvonne Wenger, Baltimore Sun, July 8, 2015
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday that she has replaced Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts, citing “utmost urgency” to stop a recent surge in violence.
“We cannot grow Baltimore without making our city a safer place to live,” Rawlings-Blake said at a press conference at City Hall. “We need a change. This was not an easy decision, but it is one that is in the best interest of the people of Baltimore. The people of Baltimore deserve better.”
Rawlings-Blake named Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis interim commissioner, effective immediately.
Rawlings-Blake’s decision came hours after she lashed out at the city’s police union for for its highly critical report of the Police Department leadership during last month’s rioting. She did not respond to a call for Batts’ resignation from faith coalition Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development.
She said the Fraternal Order of Police report did not play a role in her decision and that her motivation was instead the spate of murders that has erupted in the city over the past month.