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August 18, 2009

No help from victims in Harbor shooting

It should come as little surprise that the two young men who were shot on Saturday at the Inner Harbor are not helping cops find the shooters. "We have two young men who to put it mildly are uncooperative in assisting us in who may have shot them," Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said.

Here are the commissioner's comments on the topic.

The victims are suspected gang members shot by other suspected gang members and the violence again is raising questions about safety at the Inner Harbor. We had a respite from crime at the tourist attraction after a spate of stabbing, robberies and beating that started in April, some of which involved gangs.

Bealefeld talked alot about the Harbor today in meeting with reporters at an event in Pimlico, about whether the community should debate new curfew laws whether more police is the answer:

"I think we're making progress, but as saturday's incident illustrates, we have a lot more work to do. ... it is not necessarily and issue about numbers. It is an issue of what are we doing while we're in that space. I don't just need men and women in uniform standing around twirling espantoons. I need men and women who are vigilient, proactive and engaged. I'm not certain that dumping more manpower into this situation is the answer."

Bealefeld also talked about how he wants his officers to confront suspected gang members:

I think inknowing what i know about Saturday night's incident, that perhaps one of the only entres we had to approach these two groups was they're flagging. Cops ought to know a gang banger when they see one. Some of these guys fly very overt signs or signals to do that. And when we see that, whether it's flashing gang signs or something that somoene wears or a bandana or colored beads, we should respond to that and we should engage. It doesn't mean we're going to arrest everyone we see wearing a Cincinnati Reds baseball cap."

Bloods are now wearing the Reds caps and Crips are into Colorado Rockies.

Bealefeld said that "many of these young men don't even know Colorado is a state in the union, let alone know that the Rockies is a baseball team and they're in the National League and they play in a staduim where they hit a ton of home runs. It's a sign taken up all over the country to signify Crips, all over. This isn't brain surgery. They give us clues and we should act on those clues before trouble starts. Thats what I want my cops to do. I want them to go up and say, 'Welcome to the Harbor. Don't act like a jerk here. We want you to have a good time, but leave all this gang stuff at home. Or if you can't, go back home and we'll deal with you there. You don't get to act like a fool here."

Posted by Peter Hermann at 2:13 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Gangs


I really like Bealefeld. I'm relatively new to the city, so I'm not sure how he compares to past commissioners, but I like his straight talk, and he seems to be really hands-on with his management of the department. What does everyone else think?

"Bealefeld also talked about how he wants his officers to confront suspected gang members."
As soon as you approach someone that isn't a gang member but you "suspect" they are a gang member, what do you think the charge will be? Yes, racism.
And the media will help play it up as such. Nothing will change until the African-American's are ready and a shooting at Harbor Place doesn't concern them. They're still singing "Stop Snitchin'" and talking about "change".

what generous use of the word "victims"

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About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.

Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.

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