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31 people shot dead in one week in Baltimore;  Mayor, commissioner and state attorney announce plan to end violence – CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Firefighters washed the blood from the 900 block of North Gilmor Street. The 26-year-old has repeatedly shot one of the more than 30 people shot dead in Baltimore City over the past week, and many people across the city are fed up.

The mayor, the police commissioner and the Baltimore city attorney met Monday at the New Shiloh Baptist Church in the heart of West Baltimore to present a holistic violence reduction plan. They admit that current strategies are not working.

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“Past public safety practices have failed to protect our communities from violence and harm. We cannot stop our exit from a culture of violence, ”said Commissioner Michael Harrison.

“Throughout my life, we have failed to keep communities safe and keep people alive. We have to do better, and I mean we. Zero tolerance was appalling and didn’t work. The war on drugs did not work. Trying to stop our way out of these problems hasn’t worked, ”said Mayor Brandon Scott.

None of the officials responded to questions and closed the meeting to reporters after their initial comments.

“While we need the hammer of justice for violent crimes. We also know that we also need community outreach and services and programs to connect with people before they reach the justice system, ”said City Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

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The program they are launching is called The Group Violence Reduction Strategy, which brings together city resources and social services to tackle the causes of shootings and prevent people from turning to violence.

It’s a strategy the city has tried and failed to implement twice before under Mayors Kurt Schmoke and Stephanie Rawlings Blake. “There is a long way to go. Things will not be easy, ”said Mayor Scott.

The mayor’s office and law enforcement will monitor the impact. They will watch the program for six months in the West District and warn against waiting for immediate results.

A mother who has lost her son to violence knows heartbreak all too well. She declined to give her name, but said WJZ investigator Mike Hellgren Baltimore was not safe.

“I’m scared to go out, take the bus and come home because I have to walk two blocks to get to the bus stop,” she said. “A lot of people want to come forward but they are afraid because they go after witnesses.”

Officials in the city of Baltimore cited Oakland, Calif., As an example. They said Oakland reduced shootings by 20% over seven years with a similar program. But this city, like Baltimore, is now experiencing a new wave of violence.

City attorney Mosby said she has no plans to change her policy of not prosecuting minor offenses. She said the mayor and the commissioner were in “philosophical agreement” with her. “

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