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'Be involved in the fight': Baltimore mayor calls for 'personal responsibility,' blames media for promoting violent crime

17 year-old Neal Mack was killed at the Inner Harbor over the holiday weekend
Posted at 9:11 PM, May 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 08:03:47-04

BALTIMORE — Violence is a hot topic in Baltimore City.

As of Monday afternoon, Baltimore Police are investigating 137 murders since the start of 2022, in just five months.

According to Forbes, Baltimore was ranked the fifth most dangerous city in the country.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott continues to be pressed for answers following violent attacks in the city.

From Friday, May 27 through Sunday, May 29, five people were killed in gun violence in Baltimore.

MORE: Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott rolls out multi-year violence reduction plan

Mayor Scott blames media for perpetuating violence

That includes a 17-year-old male who was killed at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore Saturday evening. A teenage girl was also injured in that shooting.

MORE: 5 year Crime plan: strong on metrics, vague on method

On Sunday, a 15-year-old boy was shot multiple times in East Baltimore.

Mayor Scott spoke at a “Summer of Peace” event Monday in Baltimore, organized by a local community group “We Our Us.”

Mayor Scott addresses violence in Baltimore

The mayor pushed for “personal responsibility” for the community, parents and guardians, city leaders and the media.

Mayor Scott also blamed the media for promoting and perpetuating the violence.

RELATED: Teen killed in Inner Harbor double shooting identified

Inner Harbor Shooting

One media member asked the mayor, “Do you think your administration can have a summer of peace given what we’ve seen this year?”

Baltimore organization mourns loss of youth intern killed at Inner Harbor

Mayor Scott fired back.

“I think that’s a ridiculous question,” Mayor Scott said. “I think that your station, in particular, has to understand this is not hashtag. We are going to work every day to make sure that does not happen wherever we can prevent it.

“We ultimately have to understand personal responsibility. Where’s the personal responsibility? When are we also going to call on people to check on what’s going on with their young people, to make sure they know what their young people are into?

“When are we going to have a conversation how everybody, including your station, can play apart in reducing violence, instead of spreading this hate, spreading this violence, spreading the hashtags, spreading this nonsense.”

The “Summer of Peace” was organized as a way to speak up against crime and violence in the city.

“We know what the mission is,” Mayor Scott said. “The mission is to save lives in Baltimore, and particularly to save the lives of our young people.”
Brandon Scott, Baltimore Mayor

Mayor Scott implores everyone in the community to stand against violence, rather than just posting on social media.

“Don’t talk to me about people in Baltimore not caring, because they do,” Mayor Scott said. “What you should be thinking is, do you care enough to get off your butt and get out in the street and help them, to help us, and be involved in the fight, instead of Tweeting, instead of commenting, Facebooking and talking about what’s not going on?”

Nearly a year ago, Mayor Scott announced a five-year plan aimed at reducing violence across Baltimore.

If the plan is successful over the next five years, homicides will be reduced by more than 250 percent.

It's made up of three pillars set over five-years.

The first pillar is based on taking a public health approach to violence.

That includes gun violence prevention, victim services, youth justice, and trauma healing.

Back in March 2021, the Baltimore Police Department unveiled a new technology tool detectives are using to track illegal guns in the city.

It's a portal that integrates data from the department's E-Trace system, recovered ballistic evidence, and ShotSpotter Alerts that assists investigators in narrowing down where guns are coming from and how they are connected to crimes being committed.

As for youth justice, there are currently efforts underway statewide to not only end existing laws that allow juveniles to be charged as adults for certain crimes, but also the potential of a life sentence for committing those acts.

Pillar two is also based on community engagement.

The third and final pillar involves evaluating the roll out and holding city agencies accountable for implementing it.

Scott's goal is to reduce homicides by 15 percent annually.

The city has experienced 300 or more homicides consecutively since 2015.

Currently, at 137 murders, Baltimore has three more than at this point in 2021.