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Batts On The Spike In Crime In Western Police District

Kathleen Cahill

For the first time since the city's unrest on April 27, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts talked openly yesterday about the situation his department faces as they try to re-build relationships with the community. He said it's a time of uncertainty for the city.

In the last month, the neighborhood where Freddie was arrested has been the site of memorials, murals, protests, and the epicenter of the unrest.  Police very closely patrolled this area during the city-wide curfew.  Now, the western district is seeing an uptick in violence. Batts said this district is outpacing others dramatically with nineteen homicides and fifty-one shootings this year.   And, the climate is very tense for his officers, too. Batts said, "when the officers pull up to respond to a call, they have thirty to fifty people surrounding them at any given point in time.  Many citizens have hand held cameras they are sticking in the faces of the officers." Batts said they are sending out multiple units any time they are just doing basic police work in this part of Baltimore.