Another hot, humid July day, with highs around 90 and the chance of storms later on. More of the same tomorrow.
The Baltimore Sun got access to over 7,000 emails and documents from city officials, revealing a confused, chaotic response to the unrest that broke out on April 27th. The Sun acquired the files through a Maryland Public Information Request, and while the paper hasn’t published the whole pile (they really should), here are some highlights of what they’ve shared so far:
+ Some city officials, like transportation director William Johnson, found it “unacceptable” that television news seemed to have a better sense of what was happening on the afternoon of April 27th than the city did.
+ Police officials ordered thousands of additional pieces of riot gear within hours of fights breaking out between police and students.
+ City officials considered benches and sidewalks “home” for the homeless during the city-wide curfew. The Mayor’s Office of Human Services worked with police to avoid targeting the homeless during curfew enforcement.
+ Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake wanted to lift the curfew on Saturday, May 2nd, but Governor Larry Hogan wasn’t on board. The curfew was lifted Sunday. Many residents have questioned the need for the curfew, its economic impact on restaurants and other businesses, and its uneven enforcement across the city.
+ Rihanna wanted to walk with protesters and perform a free concert at Pennsylvania and North – police brushed her off, warning that she didn’t have a permit.
An officer shot a man in the face following a traffic stop late last night in the Irvington neighborhood of southwest Baltimore. According to police, the officer was canvassing the area after getting reports of gunfire nearby. When the officer stopped the man’s car, the man drove in reverse, pinning the officer behind the patrol car’s door – so the officer fired on him. The man drove off, but quickly left the car and surrendered to other nearby officers. The man was not fatally injured, and the officer had minor injuries. Following the incident, a large crowd of bystanders gathered and police arrested two others for disorderly conduct and interfering with an investigation.
Two more weekend shooting victims died from their injuries, bringing July’s homicide total to 37. Baltimore has seen more murders in each of the last 3 months than in any other month in the last 7 years.
City school officials are exploring whether to change elementary school boundaries to deal with overcrowding and to accommodate closing or renovating run-down buildings.The changes have some nervous, worried that not knowing what the elementary school zones look like will scare off young families and hurt real estate values.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe steamed some last week when he noted that all Maryland crabs are actually born in Virginia and should be known as Virginia crabs. Marine biologists say his claim is true.