Baltimore’s plan to combat the coronavirus? Release different scum into the streets and ask nicely that they behave.
Baltimore is experiencing a different type of epidemic, one that is about to get worse during the China virus epidemic. The record homicides in 2019 have spilled over into 2020, and now the city’s mayor, Jack Young, has a novel approach to end the bloodshed. He is begging the gangsters and street thugs to suspend their day job of target practice on city streets in order to free up bed space for potential coronavirus patients.
Following the murder of seven people in a shootout downtown on Tuesday night, WJZ13 reported that Young had a message for the city’s murderers. “We cannot clog up our hospitals and their beds with people that are being shot senselessly because we’re going to need those beds for people infected with the coronavirus,” pleaded the mayor. “And it could be your mother, your grandmother or one of your relatives. So take that into consideration.”
Wow, why have we never thought of this brilliant idea? If we only had asked them nicely!
The problem is that his plea rings hollow, as Baltimore officials are joining other blue cities in publicly announcing to criminals that they will not be arrested for numerous crimes. Now, there will be even less of a deterrent for criminals than even before, particularly with few witnesses on the streets and numerous vacant stores to loot.
On the same day Mayor Young issued his impassioned plea to suspend the murders, the city’s infamous prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, announced that she would be dismissing pending criminal charges for the following offenses: possession of drugs including heroin, attempted distribution of any drug, prostitution, trespassing, minor traffic offenses, open container, and urinating in public.
But given her track record of avoiding prosecutions of even more serious crimes (except for charges against police), one can’t help but wonder if this is just the tip of the iceberg. If this is what she is willing to publicly announce, how many more crimes will she quietly dismiss?
Mosby is also urging the governor to release some prisoners, as other liberal politicians are doing.
Let’s put aside, for a moment, the fact that urination in public and prostitution are not exactly the sort of actions you want to occur during an epidemic. What these radical leftists refuse to recognize is that the very reason why there is so much murder in Baltimore is because they are not deterring and punishing the career criminals and gang members for the other crimes they commit prior to murder.
According to the Maryland Public Policy Institute, from 2016 to 2018, Mosby dropped 36 percent of the cases for felony possession of a gun, and only 27 percent of felony possession cases resulted in a conviction.
Baltimore police report that arrests declined nearly 15 percent from 2017 to 2019. Shockingly, arrests declined for vandalism, rape, and yes, even for homicide, despite the fact that the number of actual homicides surged. Gee, more homicides, but a 40 percent decline in homicide arrests – what gives? Well, arrests for drugs plummeted 30 percent. Perhaps, these “low-level” drug offenders aren’t so low-level, but in fact, are often those who commit murder but are now not taken off the streets while we still have the chance to prevent homicide.
Indeed, according to Baltimore police, in 2018, of the 86 homicide suspects arrested, 70 had prior criminal records. Fifty-two had been previously arrested for, you guessed it, drugs! Yet it’s a system of catch-and-release, where, thanks to Mosby, they barely serve any time behind bars and are back on the streets to engage in more gang-related violence.
Now, even fewer of these ticking time bombs will be taken off the streets. Yet the mayor thinks he can shame the gangsters into dropping their guns out of concern for the health of their grandparents?!
The absurd irony is that, as of this morning, there were only eight confirmed cases of coronavirus in Baltimore City, and nobody was reported to be in critical condition. In “Charm City,” you are exponentially more likely to die of homicide than of coronavirus. Now with armed criminals undeterred from committing crimes on largely vacant streets, and law-abiding citizens barred from carrying guns, Baltimoreans will have more than one reason to quarantine in their homes.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.