Former Baltimore Sun crime reporter and creator of “The Wire” David Simon blames Baltimore’s violence spike on top local prosecutor Gregg Bernstein, citing the effects of what Simon says is an unwillingness on the prosecutor’s part to take tough cases, reports the Baltimore Sun. After Simon last year accused Bernstein of holding up the charging process and breaking a campaign promise, resulting in a dramatic drop in murder cases pursued, a commenter asked Simon to revisit the argument and apologize if 2012’s uptick in murders proved to be an aberration.
Now is one of the most violent stretches in the city’s recent history, with 40 people shot and 16 killed over seven days. Killings are now up 13 percent over last year’s increase, with non-fatal shootings on the rise as well. The number charged in murder cases fell 47 percent between former State’s Attorney Patricia Jessamy’s last full year and Bernstein’s first full year, the City Paper reported. Fiscal year data show that 123 people were charged in 2010, which dropped to 104 in 2011 and sunk even further to 74 in 2012. Aides have insisted that nothing has changed at the state’s attorney’s office when it comes to charging procedures, and say police and prosecutors are working better than ever.