Statistical snapshots from Baltimore's deadliest year: suspects, victims, and cops

Two new reports provide statistical snapshots of the key players in Baltimore's deadliest year: the alleged killers, the victims and the cops charged with stopping the violence.

While detectives have no motive or suspects in many of the year's 344 homicides, the department's annual homicide analysis report captures what the department does know about the people it arrested and those who were killed.


A first-of-its-kind community policing report, produced in response to a bill passed in Annapolis last year, outlines statistics from the police force itself.

Among the data and findings: On average, the victims killed in 2015 were substantially more likely than the arrested suspects to have a criminal record; to have prior drug, violent crime and gun arrests; and to be a suspected gang member.

Also, between November 2014 and November 2015, more than 200 people were Tased.

The suspects

The department said it had 85 homicide suspects as of Dec. 31, when the data was compiled. Of those, 74 were male and 11 were female. Five were juveniles. Also, 72 — or nearly 85 percent — were black, while the rest were white.

Among the suspects, 76.5 percent had prior criminal records, 62.4 percent had prior drug arrests, 52.9 percent had been arrested for violent crimes, and 41.2 percent had been arrested for gun crimes. Nearly a quarter were on parole and probation at the time of the killing for which they are now a suspect. Nearly 2.5 percent were on parole and probation specifically for a gun crime at the time of the incident.

The average suspect had been arrested more than nine times before, and 15.3 percent of the suspects were suspected gang members, the report said.

In the majority of homicides in 2015, police have no suspect.


Police have lamented a lack of tips from community members in recent years, one of the driving factors in legislators looking over the shoulder of the police department in terms of its efforts to bolster community policing and restore trust.

The victims

Some of the people killed in the city in 2015 were innocent bystanders to gun violence, including in shootings that ripped into crowds. There were also 22 juveniles killed, 10 of them under the age of 10.

But police have also said that some of the city's residents most vulnerable to violence were also perpetrating violence— including known gang members and others heavily involved in the city's violent drug trade.

"The driving forces behind the murders have remained the same and we've been successful at identifying some of these trigger pullers and getting them off the streets. We're doing as much as we can with that group of people. It's a vulnerable group, and I've said this a number of times," Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said in November. "There are both perpetrators on that list and very likely victims on that list."

The new data on the 2015 victims seems to bolster Davis' claim that many victims were previously caught up in crime.


According to the analysis, nearly 90 percent of the 344 victims in 2015 had a prior criminal record. Of those, 80.2 percent had a prior drug arrest; 60.8 had been arrested for a violent crime; and half had a prior gun charge.

The average victim had been arrsted 13 times before, and 26.2 percent were suspected gang members, the report said.

In total, more than 90 percent of the homicide victims this year were boys or men, more than 90 percent were black, and more than half were between the ages of 18 and 30, according to The Baltimore Sun's own analysis of 2015 data. Nearly 90 percent were shot.

The cops

According to the community policing report, there were 2,646 sworn police officers in Baltimore as of Nov. 1. Of those, 39.6 percent were black, 15.2 percent were women and 21.4 percent were city residents.

Between Nov. 1, 2014 and Nov. 1, 2015, there were 62 officers suspended with pay and five suspended without pay. Internal discipline investigations and their outcomes are not open to the public under Maryland law. Those suspended would include the six Baltimore officers charged in the arrest and death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in April, whose death sparked protests against police brutality.

Also between Nov. 1, 2014 and Nov. 1, 2015, a total of 329 people were taken to a hospital after being arrested, including after an officer used force.

That number includes people taken to the hospital as a precaution or because they asked to be taken to a hospital, the department said. However, "nearly two-thirds" of the hospital admissions "involved a Taser deployment," the department said.

That means more than 200 people were Tased by police in Baltimore during the 12-month period in question.