The fatal shooting of an off-duty Baltimore police officer illustrates the brazen violence faced by police and residents alike in a city with one of the nation’s highest violent crime rates, the Associated Press reports. Nine days into the new year, Baltimore had recorded 10 homicides. The shooting of Detective Troy Chesley Sr. – the third armed attack against a city officer in three months – has raised fears that even police aren’t safe.
Lt. Paul Blair, Jr., president of the city police union, said many criminals seem to have no fear of police and won’t hesitate to kill, even when committing petty crimes. “I’ve seen them kill for minor street robberies of ten dollars, and they kill the person because they looked at them wrong,” he said. Yesterday, police arrested Brandon Grimes, 21, for Chesley’s death. Grimes, who had been scheduled to begin a trial on gun charges today, has been arrested 17 times in recent years. Grieving and angry police officials expressed outrage that he wasn’t in jail. Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm said law enforcement agencies are often are at odds with each other. He said they must take a hard look at a system that allows people like Grimes to roam the streets.