Baltimore's murder rate is up 48 percent in 2015, the Baltimore Sun's Jessica Anderson reports Thursday, with 144 tallied homicides.
More than half of reported homicides (74) have occurred in the past two months. This has led many to accuse police of not doing their jobs in the wake of the indictments of six officers in the murder of Freddie Gray.
Indeed, the number of arrests fell 43 percent from April to May, while the murder clearance rate fell to 40 percent, well below the city's four-year average. May 2015 was the deadliest month Baltimore has seen in more than 40 years.
Police officers themselves admitted in May they've begun approaching their jobs differently. "I'm hearing it from guys who were go-getters, who would go out here and get the guns and the bad guys and drugs. They're hands-off now," Lt. Kenneth Butler told the Baltimore Sun. "I've never seen so many dejected faces.
"Policing, as we once knew it, has changed," Butler said.
Anderson also spoke with police union president Lt. Gene Ryan, who "dismissed claims of a slowdown," but said officers "may be second-guessing themselves." From the Sun:
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said last month that officers were struggling to do basic police work in the Western District, a 3-square-mile area that was the site of Gray's arrest and the epicenter of protests and rioting. He said officers are constantly surrounded by residents recording their actions on cellphone cameras.
In fact, while homicides do appear to be slightly more concentrated on the city's west side, they're mostly evenly distributed. Here's the map put together by Cham Green:
The Gray trial is looming, and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has promised police more body armor after 160 of them were injured in April's violent protests. But it sounds like there may be a more profound impact in the aftermath of the verdict that body armor will do nothing to change.
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.