Violence in Baltimore spikes

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called the Baltimore’s recent spike in violence “disheartening” Thursday as police work to address a dramatic increase in homicides and nonfatal shootings in the black American city.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” the mayor told reporters at a news conference. “It is disheartening, but I am still resolved to continue to reduce violent crime in our city.”

Rawlings-Blake said the city’s faced spikes in crimes in the past and police have been able to successfully reverse them. She said she’s “confident” police will do so again.

The city has experienced 100 homicides this year, compared with 71 at this time last year, the police department said. It’s the fastest the city has reached 100 homicides since 2007. Last year, the city reached the mark on July 4. Nonfatal shootings are up more than 70 percent with at least 19 people shot on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Baltimore has raised a less-examined racial divide than the obvious one between black and white America. Not only in Los Angeles and Baltimore, but in Ferguson and other cities caught up in racially charged confrontations, Asian-American shopkeepers, including Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, and Arab Americans as well as Koreans, appear to have been the victims of racial profiling.

The New York Times reported April 27 that gang members in Baltimore had specifically “stood in front of stores that they knew were black-owned businesses to protect them from looting and vandalism,” pointing the rioters instead “toward Chinese- and Arab-owned stores.”

The Korea Times reported April 30, quoting the Korean-American Grocers Association International and the Korean Society of Maryland, that at least 40 Korean-owned businesses in Baltimore were damaged in the riots. One Korean-American-owned business, Fireside North lounge and liquor store, was set on fire, with its owner and the owner of another business, Uptown Liquor, reportedly sustaining injuries.

The Associated Press stated that a total of 200 small businesses, many owned by Asian-Americans, were shut down as a result of damage caused by rioters.

Baltimore’s WBAL News reported the same day that “42 Korean grocers, delis, and carry-outs” had been “destroyed or damaged during the unrest,” with the total number still being tallied. The television station also noted that the Korean consulate and the Korean-American wife of Maryland governor Larry Hogan subsequently held meetings with some business owners to discuss reconstruction.

Source: Baltimore Sun/ The Weekly Standard