“The whole world is watching Baltimore,” interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said. “We're trying to perform.” Davis is aiming to win over Baltimore and its crime-weary residents still ambivalent of the city's police force. Baltimore has long struggled with crime, and it's often ranked as one of the nation's deadliest cities, with simmering tensions between police and residents. The need to control violence and rally the community around law enforcement became more urgent after Freddie Gray’s fatal injury n police custody in April.
Riots roiled impoverished neighborhoods, injuring more than 100 officers. Thousands of doses of looted prescription drugs flooded the streets. The homicide rate spiked so quickly in the first six months of the year that police expect the city will soon eclipse last year's total of 211. Add low officer morale, questions over how police handled April's unrest and the fear that riots could reignite during the trial of six officers charged in Gray's death, and it's easy to see why Davis has logged 18-hour days since replacing former commissioner Anthony Batts in July.