Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said today that the fatal stabbing of a teenager after the downtown Ravens parade incident was a "grim reminder that there's a lot of work to do."
"It’s a tragedy. Whether it happened during the parade, as a part of the parade, or it happened it another part of town, a young person has lost their life," she said. "I’m not satisfied with the rate of violence reduction in the city. We continue to strive to improve. I know a lot of work can be done by the police department, but I know none of it can be done alone."
City officials sought Tuesday to distance the stabbing from the parade, saying there was no evidence to tie it to the event. Today, Capt. Stanley Brandford confirmed that detectives believe that the victim, 15-year-old Deontae Smith, had come downtown for the parade and the stabbing may have been precipitated by an earlier fight at the Harborplace Gallery, on the parade route. Police say it was an "isolated incident."
Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts called the death "a sad stain on an otherwise excellent performance by the City of Baltimore" in an e-mail to staff.
Here's the memo Batts sent out to officers:
I want to thank the large contingent of sworn and professional staff who helped ensure Super Bowl festivities went as smoothly and safely as possible. I am proud of each and every one of you. I was impressed by the fluidity of our command team to engage and move resources on the fly to ensure the safest conditions possible under extreme circumstances. Special recognition goes to Deputy Commissioner John Skinner, the senior command staff, Capt. Gordon Schluderberg, and Lieutenants Milton Corbett, Mark Howe and Mike Fries – who all were on-point leading the coordination of our resources. I also want to recognize Central District Major Hyatt and her team – who were especially tapped with the huge influx of people and traffic, plus each and every officer who stood out on the cold parade route and at the stadium.
The reception provided by fans of the Ravens was unprecedented, as was the response by our partner agencies that helped out, including the fire department, MTA Police, MDTAP, the Maryland State Police, the Baltimore Sheriff’s Department, Baltimore School Police and Baltimore County Police.
Also, a special thanks to our Mounted Unit officers, who once again, showed their proficiency of crowd control, coming to the rescue of Ray Lewis who was being mobbed by fans.
Officers responded in an efficient and professional manner to the stabbing that occurred hours after the parade while groups of people were milling about downtown. It is a sad stain on an otherwise excellent performance by the City of Baltimore.
Media reports say that crowds like this have never been seen at previous celebrations – and BPD rose to the challenge. Like John Harbaugh said about the Raven’s Super Bowl victory, it may not have been pretty … and when thousands of people decided to join the parade to M&T Bank Stadium, many of us were agreeing with that statement … but, like the Ravens, we got the job done and did it in championship fashion. Congratulations. Job well done.
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