The Baltimore City Council voted unanimously Monday to ban machines that pay cash for cell phones. Although there are no such machines, made by San Diego-based ecoATM, operating in the city, officials fear they could be a convenient place for thieves to ditch stolen phones.
Gun violence surged in Baltimore between June 19 and June 29 this year, with 14 homicides and 15 non-fatal shootings in that 10-day stretch.
The shootings come five years after the city health department created Safe Streets, a program aimed at preventing such violence by hiring ex-offenders to mediate conflicts in high crime neighborhoods, focusing on youth ages 15-24. According to the department, they have conducted more than 750 mediations at four sites since opening in 2007.
The second march against gun violence in less than a month was staged last night in Baltimore, as organizers continue to address the recent spike in shootings in the city. At one point, organizer Munir Bahar read aloud a list that he and his fellow marchers would hand out:
“This is about trying to establish a different code of handling conflict. Number one, don’t make beef a murder. Number two, if conflict can be avoided, it’s best to walk away. Number three, never involve the lives of women and children. Number four, never involve individuals that are not connected. Number five, establish a secure place and time to handle conflict. Number six, always have neutral parties involved in dealing with conflict. Number seven, never drag on a beef unnecessarily. Number eight, never rest your pride on winning.”
Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein held a news conference Tuesday to announce recent successes of the major investigations unit in his office. The conference took place on the corner of East Preston and Ensor Streets in Oliver, where 32-year-old Melvin Jordan was discovered shot several times in June 2007. He died at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Bernstein said Philip Herrell, 32, was convicted last week of first degree murder in that case and that prosecutors will seek a life sentence at a hearing in September.