Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young supports the city’s consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice to reform the police department. But he’s also pinning some of the blame for a recent spike in city crime on the agreement.
Young made his comments during the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Newsmaker Breakfast on Wednesday morning in response to a question from former Mayor Kurt Schmoke about the city’s struggle with shootings and murders.
(It should be noted that while a federal judge approved the consent decree earlier this month, the parties still must determine a schedule for implementing it.)
Here’s what Young said:
But I’m also a little concerned, I support the consent decree, and I was one of the 15 council members that wrote the letter asking that they come in and do a pattern of practice of the Baltimore city Police Department. But I’m a little concerned that we have to be careful how we do this. Because right now, criminals think they can do what they want because they know the police department is going to be cautious in how they act. So that’s why I think the level of crime is going the way it is. Because they think they can just get away with it.
During the meeting Young also said “taking the profits out of drugs” and treating addiction as opposed to criminalizing drug use as keys to solving violent street crime in Baltimore. He advocated for improving schools and providing access to physical education, arts and music programs to give kids outlets to “act out their frustrations.”