Earlier this month, Mayor Catherine Pugh announced that the city’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade wouldn’t be happening this year. The parade, which features local kids’ dance troupes and bands from around Baltimore, draws a big crowd despite January’s frigid temperatures. We’d be having a cleanup day instead, she said, as a way of honoring MLK’s spirit. The decision caused a bit of an uproar, with over a thousand people signing an online petition asking for the event to be reinstated. Critics asked, why couldn’t we do both? Well, we can, and as Pugh announced a few days later, we will. “We heard from the people. We’ll do the parade and the day of service,” Pugh said. We think that’s the right decision.
City Council President Jack Young put his whole foot in his mouth at a community meeting last Wednesday, when, according to The Baltimore Brew, he remarked, “The more we keep the news media out of our business, the better we can run this city.” Lester Davis, Young’s deputy chief of staff, later told the outlet that the statements were aimed at reporting that is meant to “draw eyeballs and not meant to inform citizens.” We’d buy that if Davis didn’t hop on Twitter later on and accuse the Brew of inaccurately quoting him. Between Donald “Fake News” Trump in the White House, and the scandal-plagued, journalist-averse Baltimore City Police Department dominating the news here, we muckrakers are kinda on edge here, OK? Our job is to make sure the business of the city is being carried out properly. It’s something we’re kinda committed to.
It feels like mass shooting events are becoming commonplace now, a heartbreaking reality of being alive in 2017. Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler thinks the solution is . . . more guns? The Parishioner Protection Act of 2018 would allow gun owners to bring their weapons to church. As the Sun’s Alison Knezevich and Erin Cox noted, the move goes against the general mood in Maryland, with many politicians pushing for stricter gun legislation.
Folks here in Maryland got an extra week to sign up for Obamacare, when officials pushed the deadline to Dec. 22, instead of Dec. 15. Members of the Trump administration have been consistent in their efforts to dissuade citizens for signing up for the federal healthcare program, setting a shortened 45-day enrollment period and slashing the program’s advertising budget by more than 90 percent. What happened to people over politics?
Alicia Evans and her two daughters Layla Mullen and Amani Mullen died in a house fire the morning of Wednesday Dec. 13 in Richnor Springs near Cold Spring Lane. And on Dec. 16, a vacant right next to the Rose Street Community Center—long celebrated for providing a respite from street violence—caught on fire, though fortunately the community center was not harmed.
Baltimore’s Creek Boyz continue to gain more acclaim and fans for their song, ‘With My Team,’ and this week, an official remix featuring Lil Yachty was released. It’s a nice fit. Yachty’s yelping, sing-song style is similar to Creek Boyz and Yachty has publicly praised the song for quite some time. We’ve been tough on Creek Boyz after they reissued ‘With My Team’ with the maudlin references to Baltimore’s homicide rate edited out, but this is a song of the year contender and Yachty teaming up with Baltimore’s Bone-Thugs surely raises the song’s profile even more.
Early Friday afternoon, Baltimoreans were glued to their computer screens and iPhones watching an intense 30-minute police chase through West Baltimore. It began when police attempted to pull over a vehicle connected to two shootings. The driver, later identified as Mausean Vittorio Quran Carter, at some point took off and fired at officers, who fired back. During the chase, Carter continued firing, striking two civilians. The chase ended after Carter’s car endured damage and, as the Sun’s Justin Fenton pointed out, Carter’s girlfriend pulled him out of the car.
There were five homicides in Baltimore over the past week (Dec. 10-18, the week before the Beat went press). Markel Gray on Dec. 10, and then four other homicide victims, all not yet identified, who died on Dec. 12, Dec. 14, Dec. 15, and Dec. 16. As of Dec. 18, Baltimore has had 331 homicides.