Baltimore Police Commissioner Fired After Increased Murder Rate Following Freddie Gray
Peace, see ya later!
The Baltimore mayor fired the troubled city’s police commissioner Wednesday, saying that a recent spike in homicides weeks after an unarmed black man died of injuries in police custody required a change in leadership.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake thanked Police Commissioner Anthony Batts for his service — and praised the job he had done — but said growing criticism of his leadership had become a “distraction” that was preventing the city from moving ahead.
Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, who has only been with the department since January, will serve as interim commissioner, Rawlings-Blake said.
“We need a change,” the mayor told a news conference, which was attended by Davis by her side. “This was not an easy decision but it is one that is in the best interest of Baltimore. The people of Baltimore deserve better and we’re going to get better.”
The firing comes 2 1/2 months after the city broke out into riots following the death of Freddie Gray, who died in April of injuries he received in police custody. Six police officers have been criminally charged in Gray’s death.
After the violence, arrests in the city plummeted and homicides spiked. On Tuesday night, gunmen jumped out of two vans and fired at a group of people a few blocks from an urban university campus, killing three people. A fourth person sought treatment for a gunshot wound to the buttocks and was in stable condition.
Lord knows Baltimore needs someone to get control of that city. Hopefully, whoever they hire next will be able quell the violence.