UMBC student snapping photos of Baltimore homicide scenes

The college senior is profiling city homicides
Posted at 4:40 PM, Feb 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-06 18:37:26-05

With a total of 318 homicides in the city in 2016, one University of Maryland Baltimore County student is taking still photos at every place a homicide happened in the city. 

The idea started as an art exhibit, then a class project, but has now turned into a mission with a bit of an edge. 

With every snap, Amy Berbert is hoping each still image creates a moment. 

"These people have to live in these neighborhoods every single day of their life and I'm just passing through," Berbert said. 

The UMBC senior started taking photos last year at different crime scenes in the city and showing off her work in Rockville. 

"People didn't realize what the issue was. Rockville is a much wealthier area than Baltimore City and people were shocked and they had never been confronted with the issue in such a personal way before," she said. 

So she decided she wanted to take it a step further -- snapping a photo one year later at every homicide scene in the city for her senior project-- at the same time it happened, day or night. 

"I thought about it for a long time before telling my parents. They obviously were not thrilled with the idea. They've come around since then," Berbert said. 

It's a shared worry for her professor, Lynn Cazabon, who says she admires what her student is doing. 

"She's brave. I think she's done a lot of this on her own at two in the morning or whatever. She's committed," Cazabon said. 

Amy calls it a commitment to tell a story through her lens -- remembering the moments that are even tough on her. 

"When it's a young kid around my age or a teenager who they really just got stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time," she said. 

Amy says she's hoping the message of a need to stop the violence resonates in the city and beyond. 

"I want to give them more of a legacy than just a couple of lines in an article," she said. 

Amy plans on taking photos after she graduates all the way until the end of the year. The day where the most homicides in one day happened -- May 25 -- the same day Amy graduates from college. 

You can find Amy's work on Instagram or Facebook

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