The Tragedy of Baltimore
March 12, 2019 8:38 AM   Subscribe

It was around 11:30 p.m. Da’mon’s 21-year-old son, Da’mon Jr., whom Shantay had helped raise, would ordinarily have been home by then, after his bus ride across town from his evening shift working as a supply coordinator at Johns Hopkins Hospital. But he was nowhere to be seen. Da’mon Sr. rushed to the door and asked what was going on. “Dame’s been shot,” his brother said. (SLNYT)
posted by josher71 (8 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
It’s a sad story but I appreciated the focus on the political and bureaucratic leaders who created and perpetuated many of the problems.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:24 AM on March 12

It’s a sad story but I appreciated the focus on the political and bureaucratic leaders who created and perpetuated many of the problems.

Me too. But I'm concerned that the emphasis on policing - even though this talked about the frequent police abuses - still leans on the assumption that there's "good policing" that can prevent violence. Research shows that violence is the byproduct of major systemic factors: when a population is exposed to a nonstop onslaught of childhood trauma, bad educational systems, economic instability, unhealthy housing, housing instability, and aggressive policing, violence is an outcome.

You can't police a city out of poverty.
posted by entropone at 9:29 AM on March 12 [10 favorites]

There is some policing activity that seems to have a deterrent effect on certain types of crime. Conversely, it's almost certain, too, that if you effectively quit punishing certain types of crime, it will encourage people to commit those crimes. A majority---maybe all---of the work showing low- or no effect of policing on crime rates compares what we might consider "adequate" policing with "enhanced" policing and determines that there is not a difference. In many cities, though, the policing now is not even at the "adequate" level. So we aren't really asking whether putting a cop on the corner or in a car is going to make a difference (probably not); instead, we're asking what effect it has on crime when there is, functionally, lawlessness in certain areas, or against certain people.

Or, to put it another way, if policing didn't effect crime rates, why do the populations most stigmatized by police---such as sex workers, especially sex workers of color---experience the most violence? If you don't have minimally adequate level of policing, people who are interested in committing violent crime will take advantage of that fact.

(It is also true, of course, that shootings and potentially-fatal violent crimes are not normal things that healthy people in healthy environments would even consider. But policing is a real issue; it's a fundamental need.)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:37 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]

I know Shantay very well, and she is one of the best people I know. The shooting was an absolutely harrowing experience and I'm glad that he's doing better.

People often hold up Larry Hogan as an example of how a moderate Republican can reach across the aisle and forge a new bipartisan tomorrow. It's all bull. He is letting Baltimore die on the vine and he doesn't care.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:09 AM on March 12 [9 favorites]

My father was born in 1920 in Baltimore when it was all-white and heavily German-ethnic ...and a hotbed of pro-Nazi feeling in the years leading up to WWII. In fact, after the U.S. entered the War, he felt the only safe thing to do was to volunteer for the Marines, where he was stationed in the Pacific Theatre because they didn't want a 3/4 German young man with a name that rhymed with Hitler fighting in Europe. He never returned 'home' to Baltimore because his family essentially disowned him.

So Baltimore had some bad periods before.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:31 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]

Yes, Larry Hogan is a terrible human being, and if he’s not as terrible a governor it’s only because of the Democratic majorities in the State House.
posted by wintermind at 5:15 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]

Something about this article has been bothering since I read it yesterday and I only realized now what it is. Early on in the article, you have this sentence:
Policing in Baltimore, Guy and many other residents believed, was broken, with officers serving as an occupying army in enemy territory — harassing African-American residents without cause, breeding distrust and hostility.
Yet, between the GTTF (which, btw, I think the article downplays exactly how criminal they were), its spiritual predecssor unit the Violent Crimes Impact Section, plainclothes "jump-out boys" (discontinued in the wake of GTTF indictments but predates it by at least a decade), and the post-Freddie Gray "pullback", I'm a bit put off by how the article is able to maintain such a bloodless impartiality about whether or not Baltimore PD does, in fact, act as "an occupying army". I mean, to its credit, it does do a bunch to expose the deep fucked-up-edness of Baltimore policing, far more than you normally find in mainstream news accounts outside of specific scandals. But something about how it presents so much of the PD's perspective amidst all of this fucked-up-edness -- how they're all just trying their best, how they're chafing under mandatory overtime, how the consent decrees are tying their hands, etc... -- just feels a bit off to me.
posted by mhum at 10:30 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]

My father was born in 1920 in Baltimore when it was all-white and heavily German-ethnic

What are you even talking about? Baltimore wasn't all white in the 1920s, it was segregated. There have been black people in Baltimore as long as there has been a Baltimore.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:43 PM on March 13

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