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Crime numbers down from record year, worse since 2015

Posted at 5:51 PM, Oct 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-02 17:54:10-04

On full display, Monday night at Riverside Park in South Baltimore, city leaders and concerned residents crowded together before a crime walk.

The issue in this part of Baltimore are the muggings, a carjacking, a shooting just last night and the murder of 25-year-old Tim Moriconi.

But it's not just Tim, evidenced by the names of 233 murder victims pinned to the lawn in the park where Mayor Catherine Pugh literally get on the stump to address the crowd in the gazebo.

"We are now down like 14 percent in homicides,” the mayor said in a speech setting, “We were down almost 20 percent almost two months ago, so we've had an uptick in violence in September, there was an uptick in violence in April, but every single month we were trending downwards."

The mayor's numbers are generally accurate but the decreases she is touting are off a record year for Baltimore.

2017 saw 342 killings, the highest per capita since at least 1970.

This year's lower numbers are more on par with 2016 where the city lost 318 lives.

Baltimore has been and now remains on a pace to shatter the 300-homicide mark for the fourth year in a row.

To put that in perspective, comparing this year’s homicide count through September with the two years prior to the riots, there is nearly a 30 percent increase.

They are numbers that translate to a palpable shift for residents these last few years, punctuated by an average of more than two murders a day since last Monday.

From the aunt of a slain 17-year-old on druid hill avenue, "I hate it yes. I hate it. And the mayor needs to do something about this," said Latoya White.

To a crime walk last night down Riverside Avenue where Moriconi was killed, the numbers may technically say one thing, but residents say they feel completely different.

"It's the same stuff...crime statistics, they are down, they're down…it feels worse than ever, worse than ever,” said Federal Hill resident Victoria Swinburne.

Nonfatal shootings, a statistic police often say is a notable metric for violent crime, reached 503 shootings so far this year...down only 4 percent from last year's record pace of killings.