BALTIMORE – A three-day weekend ceasefire in Baltimore during which two people were fatally shot and two others were wounded is still being called a success by organizers and participants.
The 72-hour Baltimore Ceasefire, with the slogan “Nobody Kill Anybody,“ began Thursday at midnight and ended Sunday at midnight. A 24-year-old man was shot on Saturday evening and about five hours later a 37-year-old man was shot. Both died at University of Maryland Shock Trauma. The next day, two men were shot but survived.
The ceasefire was planned to address Baltimore’s skyrocketing murder rate, which has been steadily climbing in the past few years. So far this year, 210 people have been killed. In comparison, 160 people have been killed in New York through the end of July – a city with a population 13 times as large as Baltimore’s. In 2016, there were 316 homicides in Baltimore and in 2015 there were 344. In Chicago, 421 people have been killed so far this year. but that city’s population is more than four times as high as Baltimore’s.
With a weekend full of community events including marches, rallies and prayer vigils, one goal was to bring attention to the crisis and to galvanize residents to work together to try solve it
Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis praised the organizers and participants of the ceasefire. “Public safety is the responsibility of all us and it’s been a beautiful sight to see so many people engaged for a better and safer Baltimore …Success is measured in sustainability, not instantaneous results,” he said in a statement released Sunday.
The police department has reassigned 150 officers to the city’s most dangerous areas.
Mayor Catherine Pugh, who took office last December, also lauded the efforts of residents and urged residents to sustain the momentum. “The power to change our city rests in our hands. …This movement must continue and it will take each one of us doing our part to reaffirm the value of human life. We can do this together.”
A ceasefire in May during Mother’s Day weekend also ended with two homicides.
One organizer of the latest ceasefire, Erricka Bridgeford, told reporters that some gang leaders had vowed to honor the call to lay down their weapons. She wrote on Facebook Sunday that the ceasefire has not ended. She said organizers and activists were scheduled to meet Monday.
“We had an uprising,” she said, referring to the city’s 2015 riots, which drew international media coverage. “Now they got to see us rise up.”