More than 240 people will lie on the ground Sunday in Baltimore’s War Memorial Plaza, each bearing a number, says the Baltimore Sun. They will wear identical white T-shirts with a black ribbon that says in yellow print, “No More Murders.” Each person represents a life lost in Baltimore this year in violence that has left the city on pace to reach nearly 300 homicides for the first time this decade. “The average citizen can’t put their arms around a 241 number, it’s very hard to visualize,” said Kimberly Haven of Justice Maryland, the group organizing the event.
Baltimore has had a reputation of apathy, residents numb to the violence that plays out on their streets every day. The palpable outrage to surges in violence seen in cities such as Newark, N.J., and Boston has been harder to find in Baltimore. In Boston when 16 people were killed in the first few months of the year — a rate far lower than Baltimore’s — residents were outraged and the government responded with millions of dollars for crime-fighting programs. In Newark, the community galvanized around stemming crime after three teenagers were killed execution-style on a playground. In Philadelphia, thousands of men joined a mobilization effort to fight the city’s sudden spike in homicides. Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon supports efforts to raise awareness about the city’s homicide rate and to engage residents to find solutions. She believes the city will finish the year with fewer than 300 homicides and a recent slowdown in killings suggests that might be the case.