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Victims families react as Baltimore approaches 300 homicides

Posted at 11:34 PM, Nov 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-01 23:34:45-04

As the city approaches 300 murders for the 3rd year in a row, Baltimore Police is encouraging residents to focus on the victims, not the number.

"Every murder, there's a person attached to it and a family attached to it," says Baltimore Police Chief T.J. Smith.

Smith says that officers themselves are focused on the reasons behind the murder total, which can be attributed to repeat criminals unafraid of punishment and killers carrying out retribution. Problems he says the department is working hard to address. Smith says that detectives have cleared over 50 percent more cases in 2017. Despite that, the murder rate remains high.

"It's just murder after murder after murder," says Dedrah Johnson, mother of homicide victim 20-year-old Dejuane Beverly.

Beverly was killed back in August just across the Baltimore County line. He is not included in the City's yearly count. That's not stopping his mother from speaking out.

"We can never get our children back. At this point, no matter what I do, he won't return to me but I can get the word out. I can be a voice. I can help someone else," Johnson said.