The Baltimore Police Department announced Tuesday afternoon that it would add more patrol cops after 12 people were killed or wounded following several shootings late Monday night into Tuesday, reports The Baltimore Sun.
The announcement comes as cities like Baltimore, Chicago and St. Louis, Missouri, usually experience spikes in gun violence in the summer months as gang members seek to settle old scores over perceived slights, and turf battles. That’s not all. Police violence in communities of color, high unemployment rates, housing disparities, all come together to create a cocktail for violence, experts say.
Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said the patrol officers and detectives would work 12-hour shifts instead of the usual 10-hours. Police reported that the first victim in a series of six shootings came at 8:20 AM Monday when a man was found in a car in the Edmondson Village neighborhood. The man, whose identity is not known, was pronounced dead at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, with no motive for his killing, writes the Sun.
Officers later located Rodney Wheatley, 28, with gunshot wounds to the back and arm in Southwest Baltimore before he died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Charmane Wilson, 37, was also found by police with gun wounds on the West side of the city. She also died at a local hospital. A fourth victim was shot and also lost his life.
Four more shooting victims were discovered by police, with two dead. One is in critical condition, and the other was treated and released, according to the report.
Cops also responded to the scene of a quadruple shooting in Northwest Baltimore where four men–ages 19, 20, 23 and 25–were wounded on Tuesday following Davis’ announcement. Davis, who said he has a plan to address the increased crime after the 12 shootings between Monday night and Tuesday afternoon, noted that socioeconomic disparities have led to the systemic violence, which also includes street disputes as well as gang fights.
The spike comes as the department seeks to implement sweeping reforms after a federal probe found systemic racism, among other problems, in its police practices. Indeed, police departments across the nation are on public relations campaigns as social media continues to shine the spotlight on police violence in communities of color.
There have been 159 homicides in Baltimore already in 2017, writes the newspaper.
Police officials will evaluate the results of ramping up patrols next week, Davis added, but the number of officers on the streets is unknown, reports Reuters.