Baltimore Violence Off to a Deadly Start in the New Year
Baltimore, MD – The New Year started out violently in Baltimore, with police investigating multiple shootings and three homicides over the holiday weekend.
Three people were killed in separate incidents from Friday-Sunday.
The first incident was where 49-year-old Dereck Jackson was found with “obvious head trauma” during a welfare check at him home in the 300 block of E. 23rd Street. He was found Saturday evening and his death is being investigated as a murder.
The second incident involved an unidentified 69-year-old man being located with a gunshot wound to the chest around 6:25 p.m. Saturday. He was found in the 2500 block of Reisterstown Road and pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital. There are no suspects at this time and detectives are actively searching for witnesses.
The first homicide victim in the city for 2021 was 33-year-old Tiffany Wilson, who was found stabbed to death on the street where she lived. An arrest was made in that case, with the suspect being Wilson’s partner, Lakeyria Doughty, who is 26, known as the “Wheelie Queen,” and was featured in an HBO film about dirt biking.
Five other nonfatal shootings are being investigated (a sixth was found to be accidental) in Baltimore from the weekend.
According to the Baltimore Sun homicide tracker, the city recorded 336 murders in all of 2020.
Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said in December that many surviving victims of shootings report that they were meeting to buy drugs when they were shot after the deal went “bad.”
“So we are working constantly through having smart deployment strategies, putting officers where we know they need to be based on patterns and trends of crime,” Harrison said. “And we’re working to identify those bad actors who are pulling the triggers and who are carrying the guns.”
Harrison also said the city needs more than just law enforcement to bring down its crime rate. He said, “We are working to reduce the reliance on the police department alone to deal with murder, and going forward, you have heard the new mayor say this. We are going to be doing exactly what you saw me put in the crime plan using comprehensive approaches to dealing with gun violence.
“The second part, it is helping the young men that we identify have a life away from that violent crime life. That’s the part that’s missing, and fixing the issues that drive them to those decisions. If all we ever do is enforcement, we never change the culture.”
Holistic/progressive approaches take time, money, and endurance! What is the plan to stop this violence NOW? https://t.co/9SkBNftWmM
— Baltimore City FOP (@FOP3) December 10, 2020
Meanwhile, the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police has said that Harrison’s leadership is lacking and the department can’t effectively police the city when they’re staffing levels are so low. The union tweeted, “500 Officers short! Homicides and shootings are pacing with last year’s record violent crime stats and we have lost more Officers than we have hired over the last 2 years of PC Harrison’s tenure in Baltimore.”
The December tweet continued, “No actionable crime plan at the street level!” the tweet continued. “In the last 13 days, there have been 19 homicides and 30 failed murders (shootings) in Baltimore. If your starting pitcher is getting crushed, you bench him!”
On December 21, Mayor Brandon Scott said that he believes police should continue to attempt to reduce the violence, but admitted that the city will need to help as well by focusing on drug addiction, targeting repeat offenders, and searching for illegally owned firearms.
Baltimore City FOP has been active on Twitter for all of 2020, asking for help from city officials to have the resources and staffing levels to address violent crime in the city even through the pandemic.