Hezikah Wilson III, an austistic man in Baltimore, was shot to death Sunday night while letting the dog out of his home. Still, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said that Baltimore over the past decade had the largest drop in crime of any of the nation’s 20 largest cities. Shootings have been cut by 40 percent, and the homicide rate is at its lowest point since 1989.
Since gun crime began to drop in 2008, city leaders have struggled to overcome the perception that crime is as bad as ever, as statistics show it’s at 25-year lows. The case of Wilson is another example of why that perception persists. “We’ve never had a member of the family a victim of crime – nothing this heinous, this evil, this violent,” said his brother Frankie Wilson, standing on the front porch where Hezikah collapsed. Frankie Wilson, 33, is a 15-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department. Every night, he knows that the next call that comes over the radio can take him to some of the city’s toughest corners to investigate another incident of senseless street violence. He doesn’t expect those calls to come to his personal cell phone.