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Sun Investigates:

Freddie Gray's death underlines disparities in Baltimore

Freddie Gray's death highlights disparities in Baltimore

The death of Freddie Gray has brought international attention to Baltimore — and to the wide disparities among city neighborhoods.

Sandtown-Winchester, where Gray was arrested April 12, is weighed down with unemployment, poverty and blight. It's part of a section of West Baltimore in which about half the children live below the poverty line, nearly a quarter of adults are out of work — and the homicide rate is more than double the citywide average.

Homicides have historically been concentrated in the city's western and eastern police districts, with other pockets in the Park Heights area and Cherry Hill, as 2011 data from the city Health Department shows. Those trends have largely held in recent years.

The Western District, which includes Sandtown-Winchester, saw 24 homicides in 2011. That number climbed to 30 in 2012 and 43 in 2013, then dropped to 21 in 2014.

Public safety officials in part praised the implementation of Operation Ceasefire, a violence intervention initiative that began in the district last year. But this year, the number is on the rise again — already, 19 people have been killed this year in the Western District.

Sandtown also is among Baltimore's most-segregated neighborhoods. It, along with Rosemont, Edmondson Village and Berea, are 98 percent African-American, according to Health Department statistics.

The least-integrated white neighborhoods are South Baltimore (95 percent white); Canton (90 percent); and Roland Park (88 percent).

The city's most-integrated neighborhoods are Greater Charles Village, which is 43 percent white, 39 percent black and 11 percent Asian; Pigtown, which is 48 percent white and 44 percent black; and Midtown, which is 49 percent white and 41 percent black.

—Justin Fenton and Luke Broadwater

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