Five Baltimore children under the age of 17 have been shot over the past week, the Baltimore Sun has reported.
A 10-year-old girl, a 12-year-old boy, a 15-year-old boy and two 17-year-old boys are among the city’s latest gun violence victims and Mayor Brandon Scott is vowing to hold city agencies accountable for providing better resources for Baltimore’s youth.
In a statement last week, Mayor Scott said he was “deeply frustrated by the amount of young people who have been victims of violence in our city, especially in recent days.”
“We cannot accept this,” Scott said at a news conference Friday. “We have to understand that these are children, no matter what was said or what was done. They’re children, and children have to be treated differently than adults, especially when you’re taking about the life or shooting or harming a young person.”
“We have seen a 10-year-old shot in the chest, a 12-year-old shot in the arm, and a 17-year-old shot in a public intersection,” Scott continued. “There is nothing harder than talking to a parent whose child has become a victim of violence.”
Scott is also calling a meeting with Baltimore police leadership “to identify special initiatives targeted at quelling the increase in shootings we have recently seen.”
Fourth grader Kaelin Washington is suffering a punctured lung, fractured rib and emotional trauma after walking to the store last weekend to buy a bag of chips.
“I don’t care what your silly, stupid little beef is. That 10-year-old baby had nothing to do with your beef,” Mayor Scott told news reporters.
A 15-year-old boy was pronounced dead at a local hospital last week after an argument escalated into gunshots.
“Imagine what the world would been like for my family if that had happened to me when I was 15 years old. And it could happen to anyone,” Scott said.
Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said at Friday’s news conference that the department is “working aggressively to identify who is responsible and bring them to justice for these senseless acts of violence. Detectives continue to follow investigative leads, some of them very promising.”
“All these incidents speak to the perpetuating culture of violence in our city to include the easy access of guns by criminal and their desire and willingness to use these guns to solve conflict,” he said.
City Council President Nick J. Mosby said the coronavirus pandemic is putting many children in harm’s way, since it has been keeping children and teens out of the classroom.
“This pandemic has displaced our children from the safety of their classrooms, it has upended their routines and stability, exacerbated behavioral health challenges and created even more economic distress for many families,” Mosby said in a statement Friday. “Layering that on top of Baltimore’s longstanding challenges means too many of our young people are in harm’s way and often in dangerous situations.”
Mayor Scott released a plan last month to increase safety within neighborhoods and expand opportunities for youth.
Scott wants to arrest the most violent offenders in the city and focus on the trauma that drives young men to choose gun violence.
Scott will focus on giving more resources to the housing, health, employment and addiction departments.
Scott’s plan will incorporate the Police Department into his public health strategy. Before the new plan, law enforcement agencies and public health departments worked separately and were often at odds. Scott is forcing the two sides to talk with each other. He is also resurrecting the Strategic Decision Support Centers, where cops, prosecutors, and state prosecutors work together to reduce violence.
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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VIDEO: Russia Moving Missiles Towards Finland Border
Putin has said in recent years that Finland is considered friendly so long as they do not join NATO. Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö confirmed Sunday he has applied for NATO membership.
MetroUK tweeted chilling video and reported the following:
Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said: ‘They should have no illusions that we will simply put up with it,’ and insisted ‘the general level of military tension will rise’.
BREAKING: Russia moves nuclear missiles towards Finland border in backlash over Nato bid. https://t.co/fgzgXnwjqK
— Metro (@MetroUK) May 16, 2022
The video was reportedly taken on a road leading to Vyborg, around 24 miles from the Finnish border, showing the deployment of mobile Iskander missiles.
“Seven launchers are thought to be en route according to commentary on a dash cam video broadcast by Russian media.”
A person on the video can be heard saying: ‘As soon as the president of Finland said they were joining Nato, a whole division of Iskanders, seven of them is moving towards Vyborg.
‘Looks like a new military unit is about to be formed in Vyborg or the region.’
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