Anger is a test of love. And right now, I’m mad. Mad at the criminal justice system of Maryland.
Deandre Sleet and Kiara Wesley were not strangers to the criminal justice system. The courts had more than one opportunity to put each of them away. If even one of them had been behind bars, Timothy Moriconi might still be alive today (“Baltimore police charge 23-year-old man in fatal shooting near Federal Hill,” Oct. 4). I’m mad that he’s dead. I’m mad that he was murdered in my neighborhood. I’m mad that my friends wouldn’t walk over to my house to watch the Ravens game this past weekend for fear of being robbed or killed.
I’m mad that as bad as this is for my neighborhood, it is a relative drop in the bucket for the city of Baltimore. While this is the exception on the South Baltimore peninsula, this is a stomach-turning and unacceptable norm in other parts of the city. This crime tests my love of Baltimore like nothing else. I want to get involved and do what I can to stop this. I want to ask the city to hire more officers. I want to ask for more grants for after school programs. I want to ask to tear down vacants so the city doesn’t spend money on taking care of blocks with no one home.
I want to ask Mayor Catherine Pugh to appoint and support a police commissioner for longer than months at a time. I want to ask Gov. Larry Hogan to allow state law enforcement to patrol in Baltimore. I want to ask the legislature to reform the juvenile justice system, of which Deandre Devon Sleet was a part. But it is incumbent on the people already in power to take the lead on breaking this cycle. I’m angry at them because I don’t feel much love.
Matthew S. Unglesbee, Baltimore
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