Gray died in custody after being arrested on April 12. He suffered a fatal spinal injury at some point during his 45-minute ride in a police van. The city descended into chaos, a state of emergency was called, and the National Guard rolled in to help local law enforcement restore order.
Well, ever since the charges have been brought forward, crime has been surging in Baltimore due to police being more “hesitant” in light of intense media and public scrutiny (via Baltimore Sun):
As the number of shootings and homicides has surged in Baltimore, some police officers say they feel hesitant on the job under intense public scrutiny and in the wake of criminal charges against six officers in the Freddie Gray case.
State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby’s decision last week to charge the officers has stoked strong opinions across the country — including praise from those who want accountability and derision from some legal experts.
But perhaps the most jarring effect has been on the Baltimore Police Department.
In 29 years, I’ve gone through some bad times, but I’ve never seen it this bad,” said Lt. Kenneth Butler, president of the Vanguard Justice Society, a group for black Baltimore police officers. Officers “feel as though the state’s attorney will hang them out to dry.”
Several officers said in interviews they are concerned crime could spike as officers are hesitant to do their jobs, and criminals sense opportunity. Butler, a shift commander in the Southern District, said his officers are expressing reluctance to go after crime.
“I’m hearing it from guys who were go-getters, who would go out here and get the guns and the bad guys and drugs. They’re hands-off now,” Butler said. “I’ve never seen so many dejected faces.
The city has seen 40 shootings since April 28, the day after the city’s most intense day of rioting, including 10 on Thursday alone. There also have been 15 homicides in that span, bringing the year’s total to 82 — 20 more than at the same time last year.
(Read more from “After State Attorney Charged Cops, Crime Surges in Baltimore” HERE)