Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Calculated gang drug war rages as body after body fell in East and Southeast Baltimore.

Calculated gang drug war rages as body after body fell in East and Southeast Baltimore. Baltimore's police commissioner and mayor questioning the pace of the federal probe. But there are even more questions to answer. One of the victims of the cookout shooting was a member of Operation Safe Streets, an innovative program that uses ex-offenders to mediate gang disputes to prevent violence. It was hailed a success for its first year when no murders took place in a violent city neighborhood, and the counselor being at the party is indeed part of his job. But why didn't police know about the party? And now that the counselor is a witness, and a victim, he has an obligation to step forward and tell police what he knows. The program works under a city agency, the health department, and we can't have cops pleading with people to help them while allowing someone under another city agency to keep quiet.Operation Safe Streets works because the gang leaders who don't trust the cops do trust the workers. If a counselor goes to the cops, the gangs won't cooperate. So we sacrifice information for quiet. But it's not quiet anymore, and serious questions needs to be answered from the program's administrators as to what they knew about the party, the dispute and the gunmen.Questions also have to be asked about how and why Baltimore County Police allowed kidnappers to go free without pursuing criminal charges? Even if at the time the deal was sound because no one was giving up any information at all, cops can't simply sit back and allow two drug groups to exchange money for prisoners and then say case closed and walk away. The case was indeed closed in the county, where the kidnappings occurred, but far from closed as members retaliated in deadly precision on city streets.


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