The number of people murdered in Baltimore hit a record-tying 45 homicides for the month of July, the Baltimore Sun is reporting. The number is an uptick that follows a trend of increased violence in the city in the months after the Baltimore riots that resulted from the death of unarmed black man Freddie Gray on April 12.
The increased violence in Baltimore, which was already one of the most deadly cities in the country, is pushing Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to make changes to the police force and the way she approaches police matters with the public, according to the Baltimore Sun. She fired Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts in early July and replaced him with an interim commissioner Kevin Davis.
May, in which 42 people were murdered in the city, also matched rates unseen since August 1972.
An autopsy showed that Gray, 25, was killed as a result of what was called a "high-energy injury" that was most likely caused when the police van he was in suddenly slowed down. A report released the day before the autopsy was leaked indicated that his death could not be called an accident because the officers failed to follow safety procedures when putting him into the vehicle in what were characterized as "acts of omission."
The six officers involved have been indicted by a Maryland grand jury, and one officer faced a second-degree "depraved-heart" murder charge.