The 107 people charged with murder last year in Baltimore had a combined 1,065 prior arrests – 380 related to guns and 99 related to drugs. The 234 people killed last year had a combined 2,404 prior arrests – 162 related to guns and 898 related to drugs. The Baltimore Sun’s Peter Hermann says, “that might help explain why Baltimore, even with a much-heralded 20-year low in slayings last year, is still the nation’s second-deadliest city in per-capita homicides, behind only Detroit.”
That’s despite a 34 percent drop in killings and a 70 percent drop in nonfatal shootings since the murderous 1990s. If, as police say, a nonfatal shooting is nothing more than a failed murder, then these numbers make sense – surviving victims get shot again or go after the people who shot them. The numbers appear terrifying, Hermann says. Explaining them is not easy. Police complain that the people they put in handcuffs only return to the streets to do more harm.