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Grim homicide count prompts hope for progress in public safety

Five homicide victims from Thursday and Friday identified by Baltimore Police
Posted at 6:14 PM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 18:15:26-04

BALTIMORE  — As the city of Baltimore tallies more than 200 homicides, the grim statistic underscores our everyday battle with deadly violence.

“That’s how life is around here,” said Maurice Folks, a retiree in Baltimore.

He’s like hundreds of citizens across the city watching crime scenes unfold just outside of their doorsteps.

He called the death of 41-year old Kelvin Jackson, who was gunned down on his street, a sad way of life. He's hopeful that it changes with new leadership.

With Ivan Bates securing the democratic ticket in the race for State's Attorney, he’ll likely face off Roya Hanna in the General Election in November.

“My job as the chief law enforcement officer is to keep everybody safe,” Bates said in his first press conference as the democratic nominee for State’s Attorney Monday.

That sense of safety is also a top priority for Dr. Marvin Cheatham, the President of the Mathew Henson Neighborhood Association, who like Folks, has seen shooting after shooting where he lives.

“We have averaged 50 homicides a year for 7 years in a row,” said Cheatham.

He says tougher prosecution is necessary with the state of public safety as it is, without incriminating innocent people.

“Arresting everybody is not the solution however, folks that do crime on the regular basis need to be in jail,” Cheatham said.

He added that those contributing to Baltimore’s gun violence need to be held accountable. It’s something both he and Folks both agree on.

“He’s talking about having a gun court struck for guns. I think it’s good. I think it’s wonderful,” said Folks.

“Gun court to me is getting judges to say, hey if you are charged with an illegal handgun, that we’re going to place those cases in a courtroom that the prosecutors are prepared to proceed as quickly as possible,” Bates shared Monday.

“See, now people know that when I go to court I’m not going to get a lenient it’s not going to be lenient anymore. The leniency will no longer be there,” Folks added.

He says the lack of leniency on violent crime will help him sleep better at night, but hopes more resources will be offered to those who view it as their only means for survival.

“If the people don’t have nothing they will try to get something. When a dog is hungry, he’ll fight another dog for that bone,” Folks shared.