From The Wall Street Journal:
Baltimore Mayor Fires Police Commissioner Anthony Batts
Move comes amid steep increase in homicides, critical report from union on riot response
By Scott Calvert | Updated July 8, 2015 7:24 p.m. ET
BALTIMORE—Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake abruptly fired Police Commissioner Anthony Batts on Wednesday amid a steep increase in homicides and hours after the city’s police union sharply criticized the department’s response to rioting in April.
Ms. Rawlings-Blake announced the decision minutes before Mr. Batts was due to hold a news conference about an independent review that began Wednesday of the police response to the unrest. The mayor named Kevin Davis, who has been Mr. Batts’s deputy since January, as interim commissioner.
At a news conference, Ms. Rawlings-Blake praised Mr. Batts for helping to modernize the department, putting more police on the street during crime spikes and improving transparency. “But as we have seen in recent weeks, too many continue to die on our streets, including three just last night and one lost earlier today. Families are tired of feeling this pain, and so am I,” she said.
She said the recent focus on Mr. Batts’s leadership had distracted the department from the fight against crime. “So we need a change. This was not an easy decision, but it is one that is in the best interests of the people of Baltimore,” she said. . . .
“It’s about time,” said Edward Reisinger, vice president of the City Council, who earlier Wednesday called for Mr. Batts to be replaced. “We have to focus on the shootings, the homicides in the city of Baltimore.”
As of Wednesday, police said there had been 155 homicides this year, a 48% increase from the comparable period last year. May’s 42 homicides were the most in a month in 25 years. Nonfatal shootings were up 86%, with 303 so far this year.
Mr. Batts, who was appointed in 2012, has been at the center of a storm since April, when 25-year-old Freddie Gray died of injuries sustained in police custody. Officials said Mr. Gray, who was black, died of severe spinal injuries. Six officers have been charged in the case. All have pleaded not guilty.
Hours after Mr. Gray’s funeral on April 27, a small protest mushroomed into widespread rioting. Nearly 400 businesses were damaged or destroyed, the National Guard was called in and a curfew was imposed for five days.
More at the link.
So, in a city which has been run by Democrats for decades, a black Mayor has fired a black Police Commissioner, because more black men are shooting other black men in the streets, after the black Mayor said, concerning the rioting after career criminal Freddie Gray died from injuries while in police custody, “We also gave those who wish to destroy space to do that as well.” The police were put on notice by the quick filing of criminal charges against the six officers who were involved in Mr Gray’s arrest that the city would not back them against a culture of violence.
Was Commissioner Batts a good police chief? I don’t know, and don’t particularly care. But the problem isn’t that the police are somehow allowing more murders in Baltimore; the police don’t prevent crime, but deal with its aftermath. The problem is the culture prevalent in the black community in the Charm City. We have to ask why black men are shooting other black men at such ridiculously high rates, in Baltimore, in Philadelphia, in Camden, and in Chicago. But, of course, to ask that question is raaaaacist, and the left won’t ever ask it, won’t even hint at it, because they depend upon charges of racism for political heft.
Yet, no problem was ever solved by not taking a clear look at it; if the left foreclose any questions about the responsibility of the black community for murders of its people, by its people, then those killings will continue and continue and continue.
Let me be plain here: the only solutions to the problems in our urban black communities must come from within those communities; they cannot be imposed from outside. If black teenaged boys continue to drop out of school at rates greatly in excess of whites, the black community will continue to be saddled with lower average incomes, and the black community will continue to be plagued by higher joblessness, and the (mostly) white elites cannot do one damned thing to stop those dropouts. That needs to come from the mothers and fathers of those boys considering dropping out of school. If urban black teenaged males keep joining gangs, an action which puts them at high risk of crime, of violence, and of going to jail, it is because joining a gang is too highly rewarded within the community in terms of prestige and sex, and white outsiders can’t do one single thing to change that.
I didn’t have much hope for Barack Obama becoming a good President, but I did think that there was one area in which he could have had a huge, positive impact: I had hoped that his example, of doing well in school, of going to college and then law school, would be an inspiration to young black males, would be showing them that doing those things wasn’t somehow “acting white,” but was the road to success. Sadly, it just hasn’t worked out that way.
Instead, we have the Twitter hashtag
#blacklivesmatter , but it really ought to be #BlackLivesDontMatter, because, unless a black person is killed by a white man, nobody seems to care.