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WYPR's Senior News Analyst opines on recent Maryland news.

Smith: Mosby Is Uncooperative, Scornful Of Homicide Efforts


Baltimore may set a series of homicide records this year. Charm City is beginning to look like murder city.

So what does States Attorney Marilyn Mosby do? She refuses to cooperate with a commission searching for answers. And she accuses Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of wasting money in the effort to find answers to the crisis.

While she was at it, Mosby says the well-regarded Bloomberg School violence researcher, Daniel Webster, heads the mayor’s commission for the money.

For good measure, leaving no one out of her sphere of scorn, suggests city police have failed to deal with an obvious, drug driven problem.

“We know why homicides are taking place,” Mosby says. “We know it has to do with drugs. We know it has to do with gangs. We know it has to do with turf wars.”

Maybe so. But maybe not. Sixty percent of the city’s 192 homicides this year have come in the last three months. What’s caused that spike?

The Webster Commission thinks Mosby is withholding information that might explain the surge. Mosby sits on the data. Active cases might be compromised, she says. Others say compromise need not happen.

Meanwhile, the killings continue. So what strategy would Mosby recommend? On this she is silent.

The mayor responds to her broadsides with remarkable equanimity. The mayor wants a workable solution. She is looking, along with Webster, at a success achieved in Milwaukee.

The mayor’s tepid response to the state’s attorney is confusing. Why isn’t she holding a press conference with Webster to show her support? Baltimoreans wonder who’s in charge. We have a crisis and all we see in response is acrimony, finger pointing and no clear strategy.