Zachary Evans, National Review, December 26, 2019
Baltimore may see the highest homicide rate ever recorded in the city by the end of 2019, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
Police had recorded 338 homicides as of Tuesday, four shy of the 342 seen in 2017 and 2015. The city saw 353 homicides in 1993, the most of any year on record.
However, because the city had a larger population in the early 1990’s, the homicide rate per 100,000 residents in 2019 is nearing the rate from 1993, despite the lower total. If Baltimore sees 342 or more homicides by the end of 2019, the homicide rate will reach 57 per 100,000, surpassing the 1993 rate.
The homicide rate was declining before 2015. On April 12 of that year, 25-year-old Freddie Gray died while restrained in the back of a police van after officers arrested him on suspicion of illegally carrying a switchblade. The death sparked riots in the city after officers were accused of racism in the case. Gray was African-American.
The homicide rate in Baltimore has remained high since Gray’s death. In 2019 the city appointed current Police Commissioner Michael Harrison to revamp the department.
President Trump in July described the district in which the Freddie Gray incident took place as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”