In blunt terms, Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young urged the families of homicide suspects to come forward with information to stop the violence that wracks the city: “Turn them in.”
“Everybody knows what’s going on, they’re in your families, and you know what they’re doing,” the Democratic mayor told reporters Wednesday at City Hall.
Young made the passionate plea for help from the community in front of a gaggle of television cameras after being asked about the rate of shootings in the city. There have been 143 homicides in Baltimore this year, and the city had 309 killings last year.
“I’m sick and tired of it and the citizens should be sick and tired of it, too,” the mayor said.
Police and prosecutors have long cited a “no snitching” culture that inhibits witnesses from coming forward and makes it difficult to solve violent crimes. Mistrust of the police is often given as a reason for why people don’t share information, but those who do also sometimes face violent reprisals.
Young said the problem especially affected the largely African American neighborhoods that see most of the killings.
“Why isn’t it happening in other neighborhoods? It’s just happening in the African American neighborhoods,” Young said. “The African American neighborhoods need to stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough,’ and start turning these folk in.”